Is prepwork a real word? What about any of these variations: prep-work or prep work? I cannot find any of those in a dictionary.
I have not been able to find "prepwork" written as a single word in any dictionary I checked (and I checked a number of dictionaries, including the OED). However, several dictionaries list "prep" as an adjective:
Preparatory: a college prep course; did extensive prep work for the interview.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (Via The Free Dictionary)
So, if we go by what the dictionary says, "prep work" (with a space) is correct.
Looking at usage, some people will write it instead as one word, probably by analogy with other words, such as homework and artwork. Here are some examples:
- Garden 2015: Prepwork!
- I started Vloging with AppAcademy’s prepwork, but Inspired by Freecodecamp
- Real Food Challenge Prepwork Day 5 – Mainport CrossFit
(It's also worth noting that there is a "personal research assistant" called PrepWork, which had some hits when I searched. If it's CamelCased, it probably refers to this.)
'Prepwork 'is a jargon word ( terminology of a special activity or group) at this time. It seems to have developed from 'groundwork'; preparation made beforehand. 'Prepwork' usage hasn't become popular enough to be included in a dictionary yet. Source