[adjective, noun pree-fab; verb pree-fab]



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), pre·fabbed, pre·fab·bing.

to prefabricate.

Origin of prefab

First recorded in 1935–40; by shortening Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prefab

Contemporary Examples of prefab

Historical Examples of prefab

  • 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

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