Definition of preparatory in English:



  • 1Serving as or carrying out preparation for a task or undertaking.

    ‘more preparatory work is needed’
    • ‘The contractor can, on the basis of the letter of intent, commence the preliminary preparatory work.’
    • ‘With regard to interview transcripts, the Judge said that ‘that could certainly await the preparatory hearing’.’
    • ‘The administration is not serious in carrying out the preparatory work needed for the enforcement of the bylaw.’
    • ‘Volunteers are required to carry out the preparatory work.’
    • ‘At the ceremony speakers referred to the importance and significance of inaugurating the preparatory committee.’
    • ‘The delays have been caused by the complex preparatory work being undertaken at the site.’
    • ‘At a preparatory hearing he raised possible defences of duress, necessity and public interest.’
    • ‘He was speaking during the preliminary preparatory meeting for the official launch of the project on May 13.’
    • ‘The preparatory committee has been overwhelmed by the interest shown by exhibitors.’
    • ‘The spokeswoman said that contractors were now on site carrying out early preparatory work, and plans were in hand to close the gap within the next few weeks.’
    • ‘I know that they have been carrying out the preparatory work to effect the repairs needed.’
    • ‘The decision was not an easily taken one as the committee had put in quite a bit of preparatory work so far.’
    • ‘Agriculture and economic policy have their own special preparatory committees.’
    • ‘She did preparatory research for the committee's work and took part in the process of discussing and drafting the proposed law that this paper analyses.’
    • ‘All those involved have undertaken intensive preparatory training.’
    • ‘It was due for completion by May 2005 but so far only preparatory work has been carried out and no hearings have taken place.’
    • ‘Johnston is already on site carrying out preparatory works and construction will begin immediately.’
    preliminary, initial, prior, introductory, prefatory, opening, basic, elementary, fundamental, rudimentary, preparative, precursory, initiatory
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    1. 1.1British Relating to education in a prep school.
      ‘preparatory schooling’
      • ‘Some preparatory or junior schools also offer scholarships, but awards for children under the age of seven are rare.’
      • ‘Students can choose to spend the second three years either in a preparatory program or in vocational training.’
      • ‘After the age of sixteen, students choose between vocational and college preparatory training.’
      • ‘Children begin school in kindergarten and attend elementary, preparatory, and secondary school.’
      • ‘The college preparatory program readies students for university study.’
      • ‘Children's education goes through primary, preparatory, and secondary stages.’
      • ‘A like-for-like, three-year comparison between preparatory and state schools is not possible.’
      • ‘Only 5 percent of students take a college preparatory course in secondary school.’
      • ‘The mixed independent preparatory day school is building four new classrooms and a specialist support classroom.’
      • ‘Following this, they may opt for either one year of college preparatory study or vocational training.’
      • ‘A new head teacher has taken over at an independent preparatory school in Ilkley.’
      • ‘Brian was therefore sent to a preparatory school on the south coast as a boarder.’
      • ‘He is in a college preparatory program in Drummondville, studying science.’


  • preparatory to

    • As a preparation for.

      ‘she applied her make-up preparatory to leaving’
      • ‘He explained that civil orders - similar to anti-social behaviour orders - could be imposed against individuals who had not committed an offence but were suspected of ‘acts preparatory to terrorism’.’
      • ‘The committee made recommendations regarding various aspects of the programme, preparatory to its expansion.’
      • ‘This afternoon I used various cleaning substances and a battery powered scrubbing device to eliminate anything growing in the grout along the edge of my tub preparatory to re-sealing the seam with silicon.’
      • ‘My grandmother once dressed him in a white silk suit preparatory to having his portrait made, so Papa promptly went out back, turned the wash pot over and rolled in the contents, soot and all.’
      • ‘The Le Monde report I linked to at the time claims that the drone was used to recce French positions in Ivory Coast preparatory to air attack by the Sukhoi 25s.’
      • ‘I used to watch in shuddering horror when Papa would allow the boiler at the laundry to cool down preparatory to climbing inside the monster to make some repair.’
      • ‘That song always reminds me of sitting on my bedroom floor making collages for my portfolio, preparatory to going for my interview for the art A-level course at Brunel College of Arts and Technology (now City of Bristol College).’
      • ‘The employee has an additional right under ERA 1996, s. 47D not to be subjected to any detriment, other than dismissal, arising from exercising these rights, or certain acts preparatory to that, as specified.’
      • ‘On my return to campus I am visited by Fred, an architect who comes once a week to my apartment for private conversation lessons preparatory to taking a language test at the Hong Kong Canadian consulate.’
      • ‘At the moment, though, they are rehearsing with their band in a studio in Edinburgh, preparatory to hitting the road early next month.’
      in preparation for, in advance of, before, prior to, previous to, in anticipation of, in expectation of, leading up to
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Late Middle English: from late Latin praeparatorius, from praeparat- ‘made ready beforehand’, from the verb praeparare (see prepare).