Definition of prepare in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Make (something) ready for use or consideration.

    ‘prepare a brief summary of the article’
    • ‘The research team is currently preparing manuscripts for consideration.’
    • ‘I have a talk in San Diego this afternoon, and before then I have to prepare my overheads and teach my copyright class.’
    • ‘Often, they do not even want to be bothered about the setting or the decor prepared by their art directors.’
    • ‘As a result of those select committee considerations, reports are prepared that are tabled in the House.’
    • ‘As part of this, children are guided to prepare craft sheets and helped by teachers to understand shapes, colours, animals, birds and insects.’
    • ‘Officials are currently preparing advice for consideration by the Government in the very near future.’
    • ‘They have been training with ex-professional coaches who prepared them for their trip of a lifetime.’
    • ‘Current teachers identified a variety of benefits of working at camp in preparing them for teaching.’
    • ‘The rest receive a vocational education that prepares them for a specialized, high-paying profession that allows them to be respected and valued for who they are and what they do.’
    • ‘The council had prepared numerous reports and considered many of the possible consequences of closure.’
    • ‘He includes instructions for preparing each item.’
    • ‘Last week Cabinet instructed Crown Law to prepare an amendment reversing the decision in time for the current session of Parliament.’
    • ‘If you're going to educate students and prepare them for society, part of what you consider is the environment they're educated in.’
    • ‘We can talk about responsibility of educating our children and preparing them for a better future.’
    • ‘The council also prepared its own development brief for the site to guide companies seeking planning permission.’
    • ‘Justices adjourned the case so the youth offending team can prepare a pre-sentence report considering all possible sentences.’
    • ‘They apparently were allowed to prepare brief messages to family members, and that message was relayed to us by the Navy.’
    make ready, get ready, put together, draw up, produce, arrange, develop, assemble, construct, compose, edit, devise, work out, think up, conceive, formulate, concoct, fashion, work up, lay
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    1. 1.1as adjective prepared Created in advance; preplanned.
      ‘the spokesman was reading a prepared statement’
      • ‘I had prepared a few words for my 45-second statement, and one of the guys typed it into their system - I don't know what he made of it.’
      • ‘On this special occasion, the trimaran's skipper had prepared a few words in German for the local audience.’
      • ‘The country's counter-terror approach needs to be "more layered, networked and resilient to make it smarter, and more adaptive," her prepared text said.’
      • ‘"Adolescents are not passive," the study author and sociology professor said in a prepared statement.’
    2. 1.2 Make (food or a meal) ready for cooking or eating.
      ‘she was busy preparing lunch’
      • ‘We intend to use the surface for cutting, chopping and preparing food for serving and cooking.’
      • ‘While they sang and played, the mother was busy in the kitchen preparing food for the night's dinner.’
      • ‘The food is prepared as for a meal and is then analyzed for pesticide residue and toxic chemicals.’
      • ‘The boxes are tailored for those who want to use the food to prepare home meals or for those who use it in juicers.’
      • ‘Natalia and Kevin busied themselves preparing the mid-day meal.’
      • ‘Your challenge is to sell them on the food they hate by preparing that ingredient in ways that might convert them.’
      • ‘Telli's sister, his grandmother and two aunts were busy round the fireplace preparing the night's meal.’
      • ‘At Tian Tian Wang, all food has been prepared, marinated and cooked with different types of tea, in accordance with the nature of the food.’
      • ‘Dishes were prepared in vast cooking pots for the hundreds of inmates and served in a buffet in a huge dining hall, he said.’
      • ‘The Meath man even showed his cooking skills when he prepared a meal for the judges in the early hours of Monday morning.’
      • ‘Are your food preferences simple or do you prepare meals with many ingredients that must be stored?’
      • ‘The servants, dressed in black, were busy preparing the meal.’
      • ‘She had been working all day in the kitchens, preparing food, cleaning dishes and had felt the whip of the slave master more than once.’
      • ‘She was going to be my adopted mother and taught me quite a few things, such as how to prepare food, cook rice, etc.’
      • ‘Reading food labels and preparing your own meals with herbs and spices instead of salt can make a big difference.’
      • ‘Ticket holders have access to several stations where chefs prepare the food in woks and large sauté pans.’
      • ‘For lunch, Amy prepared a delicious meal that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.’
      • ‘Without a refrigerator or stove, and perhaps only a hot plate to prepare meals, food choices are expensive and generally not very nutritious.’
      • ‘Maria and Nova were busy preparing their food while Hero was helping his dad grill some fish and meat.’
      cook, make, get, put together, assemble, muster, dish up, concoct, blend, infuse, brew
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    3. 1.3 Make (a chemical product) by a reaction or series of reactions.
      • ‘He continued to work productively, analysing the chemistry of chlorine bleaches and preparing hypochlorous acid and chlorine monoxide for the first time.’
      • ‘There is often more than one synthetic route for preparing a desired chemical.’
      • ‘Solar cells, usually made from specially prepared silicon, act like a battery when exposed to light.’
      • ‘Here the primary components including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous are prepared.’
      • ‘Heavy water can be prepared by the prolonged electrolysis of water.’
      • ‘It can be prepared chemically and is obtained by mining and evaporating water from seawater and brines.’
      • ‘Karle's husband, Jerome, was tasked with preparing plutonium metal directly from crude plutonium oxide. The work was dangerous.’
      • ‘Davy went on to apply his method for preparing sodium to the extraction of potassium, calcium, and other active metals.’
      • ‘He used this method to prepare sodium, potassium, calcium, and other elements for the first time.’
      • ‘His ink was prepared from the soot of lamp black mixed with water.’
      • ‘Formic acid is prepared commercially by heating carbon monoxide and sodium hydroxide to form sodium formate.’
      • ‘Primary amides are prepared by reacting ammonia or amines with acid chlorides, anhydrides, or esters.’
      • ‘The acetins are derivatives of glycerol that are prepared by heating glycerol with acetic acid.’
      • ‘Large vats of very caustic chemicals are used to prepare the metal.’
      • ‘Reverse osmosis is used to prepare drinking water from sea water.’
  • 2Make (someone) ready or able to do or deal with something.

    ‘schools should prepare children for life’
    no object ‘she took time off to prepare for her exams’
    ‘by this time I was prepared for anything’
    • ‘So I have very fond memories of Haxby School and the excellent way in which I was prepared for future years.’
    • ‘I was not prepared for it and I couldn't really deal with it.’
    • ‘We trained really well on Tuesday and we are prepared for whatever they throw at us.’
    • ‘I don't know how I could have expected anything else in the circumstances, but somehow I wasn't prepared for this.’
    • ‘However none of those were able to prepare me for dealing with change properly.’
    • ‘‘I was prepared for the worst, and if it was bad news I was ready for it,’ said Margaret.’
    • ‘But we aren't prepared for that first grand view of Lake Powell, a vast man-made reservoir straddling Utah and Arizona.’
    • ‘The plot twist, inspired by O. Henry, is made believable, because you are prepared for it…’
    • ‘Some of us are prepared for this type of pressure and decision.’
    • ‘I was fully prepared for the agonising stench as I entered the wet tropics zone of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, but I was disappointed.’
    • ‘But I was not prepared for what I found when I got to Washington and worked there.’
    • ‘What we weren't prepared for was to get people out of the city who couldn't get out of the city on their own.’
    • ‘But she was not prepared for the treatment meted out by the villagers, once her candidature became public knowledge.’
    • ‘As we feared, she was not prepared for just how long you have to sit in a car hurtling at great speeds to cross even a fraction of the United States.’
    • ‘So with your guide in hand and August 13 just around the corner, you are now prepared for the most intense two weeks in sports television.’
    ready, set, all set, equipped, primed, in a fit state
    get ready, make preparations, arrange things, make provision, get everything set, take the necessary steps, do the necessary, lay the groundwork, do the spadework, gear oneself up, gird up one's loins, fit oneself out, kit oneself out, rig oneself out, provide, arm oneself
    train, get into shape, practise, exercise, warm up
    study, work, do preparation, revise, do homework
    instruct, teach, educate, coach, train, tutor, inculcate, groom, discipline, drill, prime, brief, guide, direct, put in the picture
    brace, make ready, tense, steel, steady, buttress, strengthen, fortify
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1be prepared to do something Be willing to do something.
      ‘I wasn't prepared to go along with that’
      • ‘We told them what was in his contract and that we were prepared to be flexible.’
      • ‘They now needed evidence that local authorities were prepared to adopt the same approach.’
      • ‘The visitors were prepared to play a positive game, often spurning penalty kicks to throw the ball around.’
      • ‘They knew that peace would come at a price, but were prepared to pay it.’
      • ‘That they were prepared to put themselves through such discomfort is an indication of their strength of feeling.’
      • ‘Many of those questioned asked to remain anonymous but others were prepared to give their names.’
      • ‘To many, his ambition was greater than many in the party were prepared to support.’
      • ‘The bidder was to name the fee that they were prepared to pay for the licence.’
      • ‘The council were prepared to reconsider granting him a permit at a later date.’
      • ‘Market forces were such that there was a shortage of train drivers and people were prepared to pay higher wages to find them.’
      willing, ready, disposed, predisposed, inclined, favourably inclined, of a mind, minded, in the mood, agreeable
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  • 3Music
    (in conventional harmony) lead up to (a discord) by means of preparation.


Late Middle English: from French préparer or Latin praeparare, from prae ‘before’ + parare ‘make ready’.