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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
pre•pare /prɪˈpɛr/USA pronunciation   v.,  -pared, -par•ing. 
  1. Surgeryto put (things or oneself) in proper condition or readiness;
    to get (someone) ready: [+ object]The general prepared his troops for the attack.[+ to + verb]The troops were preparing to cross the river.[+ object + to + verb]These lessons will prepare you to pass the test.[no object]She prepared for the debate.
  2. to get (a meal) ready for eating, as by cooking, etc.: [+ object + for + object]He prepared a nice meal for her.[+ object + object]She prepared him a fine meal.
  3. Drugs to manufacture or compose:[+ object]to prepare a cough syrup; to prepare a report.
See -pare-1.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
pre•pare  (pri pâr),USA pronunciation v.,  -pared, -par•ing. 
  1. Surgeryto put in proper condition or readiness:to prepare a patient for surgery.
  2. to get (a meal) ready for eating, as by proper assembling, cooking, etc.
  3. Drugsto manufacture, compound, or compose:to prepare a cough syrup.
  4. Music and Danceto lead up to (a discord, an embellishment, etc.) by some preliminary tone or tones.

  1. to put things or oneself in readiness;
    get ready:to prepare for war.
pre•parer, n. 
  • Latin praeparāre to make ready beforehand, equivalent. to prae- pre- + parāre to set, get ready (akin to parent)
  • 1520–30
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged provide, arrange, order.
      Prepare, contrive, devise imply planning for and making ready for something expected or thought possible.
      To prepare is to make ready beforehand for some approaching event, need, and the like:to prepare a room, a speech.Contrive and
      devise emphasize the exercise of ingenuity and inventiveness. The first word suggests a shrewdness that borders on trickery, but this is absent from
      devise:to contrive a means of escape; to devise a time-saving method.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged make.
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disorganize.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

prepare /prɪˈpɛə/ vb
  1. to make ready or suitable in advance for a particular purpose or for some use, event, etc: to prepare a meal, to prepare to go
  2. to put together using parts or ingredients; compose or construct
  3. (transitive) to equip or outfit, as for an expedition
  4. (transitive) to soften the impact of (a dissonant note) by the use of preparation
  5. be prepared ⇒ (followed by an infinitive) to be willing and able (to do something): I'm not prepared to reveal these figures
Etymology: 15th Century: from Latin praeparāre, from prae before + parāre to make ready

preˈparer n

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