pre·​op·​er·​a·​tion·​al | \ ˌprē-ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shnəl How to pronounce preoperational (audio) , -shə-nᵊl \
variants: or pre-operational

Definition of preoperational

: of, relating to, or being the stage of cognitive development according to Jean Piaget's theory in which thought is egocentric and intuitive and not yet logical or capable of performing mental tasks Piaget believed that during the preschool period and up to about age 6 or 7, children are in a preoperational stage—too young to perform mental operations.— David G. Myers The preoperational child will invariably point to the taller, thinner glass. He believes that it contains more water because the water level is higher.— Dorothy G. Singer & Tracey A. Revenson

First Known Use of preoperational

1951, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of preoperational was in 1951

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Cite this Entry

“Preoperational.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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easily led, controlled, or managed

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