preformation

[ pree-fawr-mey-shuhn ]
/ ˌpri fɔrˈmeɪ ʃən /

noun

previous formation.
Biology. (formerly) the theory that the individual, with all its parts, preexists in the germ cell and grows from microscopic to normal proportions during embryogenesis (opposed to epigenesis).

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Origin of preformation

First recorded in 1725–35; pre- + formation

OTHER WORDS FROM preformation

pre·for·ma·tion·ar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for preformation

British Dictionary definitions for preformation

preformation
/ (ˌpriːfɔːˈmeɪʃən) /

noun

the act of forming in advance; previous formation
biology the theory, now discredited, that an individual develops by simple enlargement of a fully differentiated egg cellCompare epigenesis (def. 1)
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