prepare

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be prepared

1. To remain in a state of preparedness for any unexpected or uncertain occasion that may arise. Popularized by the Boy Scouts of America, who use the phrase as their motto. It's a good thing I always carry a spare bicycle tube when I cycle to work. Like the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared!
2. To always carry a prophylactic (condom) or other means of preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, should an unexpected sexual encounter arise. A euphemistic appropriation of the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, "Be prepared." When you begin dating someone new, you should always be prepared!
See also: prepare

chance favors the prepared mind

The more prepared or knowledgeable you are, the more likely you will be able to make the most of chance opportunities and observations. The phrase is attributed to 19th-century bacteriologist Louis Pasteur. A: "Once the user had exhausted our usual troubleshooting suggestions, I was able to see the cause of his unique issue in the program." B: "Well, you had taken the steps to rule out all the other possibilities. Chance favors the prepared mind after all." It was only because of my years of research that I was able to seize on the scientific potential that lay hidden in the natural phenomenon. Chance favors the prepared mind!
See also: chance, favor, mind, prepare

he who fails to prepare prepares to fail

proverb When there is a lack of adequate preparation, failure becomes more likely. Your test is on Friday, but I highly suggest you start studying for it now. He who fails to prepare prepares to fail. Of course I made an itinerary for our trip—how else would we fit everything in? He who fails to prepare prepares to fail.
See also: fail, he, prepare, who

hope for the best and prepare for the worst

proverb To have hope that a positive occurrence will happen, while simultaneously readying for a negative outcome. Now that our house is on the market, there's not much we can do but hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We hoped for the best and prepared for the worst when we learned that the hurricane was to make landfall.
See also: and, hope, prepare, worst

if you want peace, (you must) prepare for war

proverb Being well prepared militarily deters other factions from pursuing violent actions. Sir, I think we need to have more troops ready for action—if you want peace, prepare for war.
See also: if, prepare, want, war

prepare for

1. To do or acquire what is necessary to be ready for something. We're currently gathering all the necessary documents as we prepare for our end-of-year audit. I've been preparing for the Olympics for the last four years. The East Coast is preparing for one of the worst storms of the last century.
2. To make someone or something ready for some particular action or event. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "prepare" and "for." We're preparing our team for the big championship game this weekend. We'll need to prepare the building for the inspection.
3. To get together or in order the things needed to make or do something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "prepare" and "for." Have you finished preparing the ingredients for the meal? Let's prepare the documents we'll need for the audit.
4. To get a room, house, or other lodging ready for someone's arrival. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "prepare" and "for." We're preparing the guest room for my mother-in-law. Jack's coming on Friday, so I need to prepare the house for him.
5. To make someone mentally or emotionally prepared for something unpleasant or shocking. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "prepare" and "for." I want to prepare you for what this procedure entails. Nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to witness. She prepared herself for bad news.
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prepare the ground (for something)

To create or prepare the basics or essential foundation (for something); to pave the way (for something). Our success with this healthcare bill wouldn't be possible had the previous administration not prepared the ground. As CEO of the company, I prepared the ground for one of the most successful international firms in the country.
See also: ground, prepare

prepare the way (for something)

To create or prepare the basics or essential foundation (for something); to pave the way (for something). Our success with this healthcare bill wouldn't be possible, had the previous administration not prepared the way. As CEO of the company, I prepared the way for one of the most successful international firms in the country.
See also: prepare, way
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst,

 and Hope for the best but expect the worst.
Prov. You should have a positive attitude, but make sure you are ready for disaster. While my father was in the hospital after his heart attack, we hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. When you study for a major exam, hope for the best but expect the worst. Don't make yourself anxious worrying that it will be too difficult, but review as if you expect the exam to be extremely hard.
See also: and, hope, prepare, worst

If you want peace, (you must) prepare for war.

Prov. If a country is well armed, its opponents will be less likely to attack it. Wilbur was always arguing with those of his friends who believed in disarmament. "Getting rid of our weapons won't promote peace," he would say. "If you want peace, you must prepare for war."
See also: if, prepare, want, war

prepare someone for something

to build someone up for shocking news. I went in and had a talk with her to prepare her for the report. You should prepare yourself for the worst.
See also: prepare

prepare someone or something for something

to get someone or something ready for something. I prepared her for her trip by going over her itinerary. I prepared the garden for planting.
See also: prepare
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

prepare the ground

COMMON If you prepare the ground for a future event or course of action, you do things which will make it easier for that thing to happen. The president made it clear that his administration would continue to prepare the ground for future military action. The talks prepared the ground for the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Washington on September 19.
See also: ground, prepare
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

prepare the ground

make it easier for something to occur or be developed.
See also: ground, prepare
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

prepare the ˈground (for something)

do something which makes it possible or easier for something to happen: By making her his deputy, the chairman was preparing the ground for her to replace him after he retired.The meeting was to prepare the ground for next week’s peace talks.
See also: ground, prepare
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be prepared

To be willing (to do something): I am not prepared to defend him when I know he was wrong.
See also: prepare
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Only 41 percent believe they were prepared to integrate technology into the grade level or subject they teach, only 43 percent feel prepared to work with parents, and a scant 27 percent of teachers surveyed feel they can adequately address the needs of students with limited English proficiency.
Only one-third said that their teachers are very or moderately well prepared to maintain order in the classroom (33 percent) or to address the needs of students with disabilities (30 percent).
Yum objected to the magistrate's findings and provided the court with additional affidavits to support its position that the documents were prepared in anticipation of litigation.
In sustaining Yum's appeal, the Sixth Circuit followed Adlman II in defining documents prepared "in anticipation of litigation" as "prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation" and found that the work-product doctrine protected the two memoranda because the taxpayer established, based on surrounding facts and circumstances in addition to the substance of the documents themselves, that the documents were prepared in anticipation of litigation.
6107(b) requires an income tax return preparer, for a period of three years after the close of the return period, to (1) retain a completed copy of the return or claim, or a list of the names and taxpayer identification numbers of the taxpayers for whom the return or claim was prepared; and (2) make the copy or list available for inspection on request by the Service.
Vein reduction materials are intended to be consumed at higher concentration levels in the prepared sand mixtures (2-10%) without a dramatic reduction in tensile properties of the cured sand mixture.
The purpose of this research was to obtain feedback from practicing school counselors in order to explore the activities school counselors engage in for students with disabilities and how prepared they felt to perform those activities as well as to examine recent trends in school counselor education related to students with disabilities.
Ballet class, modern class, jazz class, prepared solo.
Successful underwriters know that the winner in any negotiation is the one who is most prepared.
In my years as a CPA, I have prepared forecasts, projections, budgets and financial models for start-up companies, mergers and acquisitions, litigation support engagements and expanding businesses.
8): They were prepared by the same method used for the preparation of aldehyde phenyl hydrazones, using benzophenone instead of benzaldehyde.
Although it concluded that most graduate-level programs adequately prepared students for the workplace, the task force recommended radically changing undergraduate courses.
Only one batch of sand should be prepared at a time due to the normal deterioration of sand properties if held beyond benchlife.
Oliver countered that Montez had prepared financial statements--not a trial balance--and must compile these statements.
In Adlman, 68 F3d 1495 (1995), aff'g in part and vac'g in part DC N.Y, 1994, the Second Circuit denied a claim of attorney-client privilege asserted as a defense against an IRS summons that sought memoranda prepared by an accounting firm discussing tax implications of a corporate client's pending restructuring.