Meaning of “prepare” in the English Dictionary

"prepare" in British English

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prepareverb [ I or T ]

uk /prɪˈpeər/ us /prɪˈper/

A2 to make or get something or someone ready for something that will happen in the future:

Have you prepared for your interview?
She'll prepare the food ahead of time and freeze it.
The meal took two hours to prepare.

B1 to expect that something will happen and to be ready for it:

[ + to infinitive ] It almost seems as if she is preparing to die.
You need to prepare yourself for a long wait.

More examples

  • I was busily preparing for their arrival.
  • The sixth-form students are preparing to take their A levels.
  • I don't think you appreciate how much time I spent preparing this meal.
  • Flushed with success after their surprise win against Italy, Belgium are preparing for Saturday's game against Spain.
  • I hadn't prepared a speech so I just said a few words off the cuff.

(Definition of “prepare” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"prepare" in American English

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prepareverb [ I/T ]

us /prɪˈpeər/

to make or get something or someone ready for something that will happen in the future:

[ T ] Keane is preparing a film version of the play.
[ I ] The Southeast prepared for the worst as the hurricane turned toward the Atlantic coast.
preparatory
adjective [ not gradable ] us /prɪˈpær·əˌtɔr·i, -ˈpeər-, ˈprep·ər·ə-, -ˌtoʊr·i/

Plans for building a new school are under way, but so far only in the preparatory stage.
preparedness
noun [ U ] us /prɪˈpeər·ɪd·nəs/

earthquake preparedness

(Definition of “prepare” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)