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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
prepare for battle
To ready oneself for some struggle that is especially challenging and arduous. Men, next Sunday is the Super Bowl. It's time for us to prepare for battle! This is the biggest case our law firm has ever taken. We'll need everyone to prepare for battle ahead of the trial.
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
prepare the groundmake it easier for something to occur or be developed.
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.