Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make ready beforehand for a specific purpose, as for an event or occasion: The teacher prepared the students for the exams.
  • transitive v. To put together or make by combining various elements or ingredients; manufacture or compound: prepared a meal; prepared the lecture.
  • transitive v. To fit out; equip: prepared the ship for an arctic expedition.
  • transitive v. Music To lead up to and soften (a dissonance or its impact) by means of preparation.
  • intransitive v. To make things or oneself ready.
  • intransitive v. To study or complete a course of study at a preparatory school.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make ready for a specific future purpose; to set up; to assemble.
  • v. To make ready for eating or drinking; to cook.
  • v. To make oneself ready; to get ready, make preparation.
  • v. To produce or make by combining elements; to synthesize, compound.
  • n. preparation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Preparation.
  • intransitive v. To make all things ready; to put things in order.
  • intransitive v. To make one's self ready; to get ready; to take the necessary previous measures.
  • transitive v. To fit, adapt, or qualify for a particular purpose or condition; to make ready; to put into a state for use or application
  • transitive v. To procure as suitable or necessary; to get ready; to provide

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To set in order or readiness for a particular end; make ready; provide; adapt by alteration or arrangement.
  • To bring into a particular mental state with reference to the future; fit by notification or instruction for any definite action or direction of thought: as, to prepare a person for bad news; to prepare a boy for college.
  • To equip; fit out; provide with necessary means.
  • To provide or procure for future use; hence, to make; form; compound; manufacture.
  • In music: To lead up to by causing a dissonance to appear first as a consonance: as, the discord was carefully prepared. See preparation, 9.
  • To lead into (a tone or embellishment) by an appoggiatura or other prefatory tone or tones.
  • To make everything ready; put things in order beforehand.
  • To make one's self ready; equip one's self mentally or materially for future action.
  • n. Preparation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. educate for a future role or function
  • v. lead up to and soften by sounding the dissonant note in it as a consonant note in the preceding chord
  • v. prepare for eating by applying heat
  • v. arrange by systematic planning and united effort
  • v. undergo training or instruction in preparation for a particular role, function, or profession
  • v. create by training and teaching
  • v. to prepare verbally, either for written or spoken delivery
  • v. make ready or suitable or equip in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc

Etymologies

Middle English preparen, from Old French preparer, from Latin praeparāre : prae-, pre- + parāre, prepare, equip; see perə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French preparer, from Classical Latin praeparāre ("make ready in advance"), from prae- ("pre-") + parāre ("make ready"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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