mid-15c., "set in order or readiness for a particular end," a back formation from preparation and in part from Old French preparer (14c.), from Latin praeparare "to make ready beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + parare "to make ready" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure"). Compare pare (v.), which is from the same Latin verb. Related: Prepared; preparer; preparing.
Intransitive sense of "make (oneself) ready beforehand" is from c. 1500. The sense of "bring into a particular mental state with reference to the future" is by 1520s. The sense of "make (food) ready to eat" is from late 15c. (Caxton). The meaning "provide or procure for future use" is from 1530s. An earlier verb was preparate (late 14c.), from Latin praeparatus, past participle of praeparare. The Boy Scouts' motto Be Prepared is attested from 1911, based, as he said, on the initials of the organization's founder, Robert Baden-Powell.
"serving or tending to prepare the way or make ready for something to follow," c. 1400, preparatif, from Old French preparatif and directly from Medieval Latin preparativus, from stem of Latin praeparare (see prepare).
"serving to prepare the way for something to follow," early 15c., preparatori, from Late Latin praeparatorius, from Latin praeparatus, past participle of praeparare "make ready beforehand" (see prepare).
Earlier in same sense was preparative (c. 1400). The word was applied by 1822 in the United Kingdom to junior schools in which pupils are "prepared" for a higher school.
1530s, "to digest" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin concoctus, past participle of concoquere "to digest; to boil together, prepare; to consider well," from assimilated form of com "together" (see con-) + coquere "to cook, prepare food, ripen, digest," from PIE root *pekw- "to cook, ripen."
Meaning "to prepare an edible thing, combine and prepare the elements of" is from 1670s, metaphorically extended beyond cooking to "devise, plan" by 1792. Related: Concocted; concocting.
"to prepare" (leather), from Old English tawian "prepare, make ready, make; cultivate," also "harass, insult, outrage" to do, make," from Proto-Germanic *tawōjanan (source also of Old Frisian tawa, Old Saxon toian, Middle Dutch tauwen, Dutch touwen, Old High German zouwen "to prepare," Old High German zawen "to succeed," Gothic taujan "to make, prepare"), from Proto-Germanic root *taw- "to make, manufacture" (compare tool (n.)).
early 13c., redien, "to administer" (a sense now obsolete); c. 1300, "to take aim;" mid-14c., "to make (something) ready, prepare, put into proper condition or order," from ready (adj.). "Somewhat rare between the 15th and 19th c." [OED]. Related: Readied; readying. Compare Dutch reeden "prepare, dress; German bereiten, Danish berede "prepare, get ready;" also compare redd (v.).