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[adjective, noun pree-fab; verb pree-fab] /adjective, noun ˈpriˌfæb; verb priˈfæb/
something that is prefabricated, as a building or fixture:
You would never know that such an attractive house is a prefab.
verb (used with object), prefabbed, prefabbing.
to prefabricate.
Origin of prefab
First recorded in 1935-40; by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prefab
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mryna thought there might be one man living in a kind of prefab somehow suspended above the rain mist.

    The Guardians Irving Cox
  • The first inarticulate roar was followed by a babel of voices, like a tropical cloudburst on a prefab hut.

    A Slave is a Slave Henry Beam Piper
  • At once she went on a feminine exploring expedition of the prefab's interior, and its new, gleaming appointments.

    The Planet Strappers Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • The walls are prefab plastic sheet, the rest is standard fittings slung in and bolted down with the fastenings showing.

    The Lost Kafoozalum Pauline Ashwell
  • Jack Holloway landed the manipulator in front of the cluster of prefab huts.

    Little Fuzzy

    Henry Beam Piper
British Dictionary definitions for prefab


  1. a building that is prefabricated, esp a small house
  2. (as modifier): a prefab house
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prefab

1937, short for prefabricated (see prefabricate). As a noun, "prefabricated housing," from 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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