preformation

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From pre- +‎ formation.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /pɹiːfɔːˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/

Noun[edit]

preformation ‎(plural preformations)

  1. Prior formation.
  2. (biology, historical) The theory that organisms are fully developed in the form of an egg or seed, and just increase in size (as opposed to epigenesis.
    • 1999, Matt Ridley, Genome, Harper Perennial 2004, p. 174:
      Preformation, as even Aristotle spotted, merely postpones the problem, for how did the homunculus get its shape?