pre·​fab | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈfab , ˈprē-ˌfab\

Definition of prefab

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: produced by prefabrication : prefabricated a prefab house



Definition of prefab (Entry 2 of 2)

: a prefabricated structure

Examples of prefab in a Sentence


The company sells hundreds of prefabs every year.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Here’s a closer look at the prefab projects that impressed us this year for those reasons and more. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "The 7 most impressive prefab homes from 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 There are a lot of appealing benefits to purchasing a prefab home. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "The Impressive Evolution Of Prefabricated Houses," 24 Dec. 2018 Or the travelers billeted overseas, for whom a hotel is the ideal prefab base. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018 The prefab cabin is nestled into the woods and takes full advantage of its picturesque surroundings with large windows and a generous deck. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Chic black chalet does cabin in the woods right," 9 Nov. 2018 Fences that took less time to build because they were planned out ahead of time, or even bought as an E-Z prefab kit. Ryan D'agostino, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Great Garden Fence," 24 May 2017 In April 2013, the couple paid about $2.1 million for a drab-yellow 1970s prefab home, perched on the edge of the city’s inner fiord. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Living Large in a Scandinavian Suburb," 3 Oct. 2018 Easton has now set his sights on building himself a prefab house in Quebec. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "David Easton on Evolving Taste," 1 June 2012 Design magazines and blogs regularly showcase prefab houses. Michele Lerner, sacbee, "Prefabs’ appeal is going up quickly," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Marius Barstad, a Norwegian plastic surgeon, and his wife, Bente Eger, a sales agent for a fashion company, gave a humdrum 1970s prefab, perched on the edge of Oslo’s inner fjord, a radical makeover. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Living Large in a Scandinavian Suburb," 3 Oct. 2018 Not without drawbacks Just like every building method, prefab has its hassles. Michele Lerner, sacbee, "Prefabs’ appeal is going up quickly," 29 June 2018 High steel prices and a lack of practicality may have hindered them; the prefabs, like the McCormick House, would have had no attic or basement. Blair Kamin,, "A less-is-more restoration of a Mies house expands our view of a little-known episode in the famed architect's career," 8 June 2018 The Fox station in Madison opted not to run the prefab script. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Be MKE: Big bonuses for Kohl's execs, influencer marketing and new eats," 4 Apr. 2018 Less than 3 percent of housing starts in the United States in 2016 were some sort of prefab. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Prefab Finds a Home in Fire-Ravaged Neighborhoods of California," 5 Mar. 2018 In the early days of prefab, the designs were limited. Sandy Deneau Dunham, The Seattle Times, "A Q&A on prefabricated homes," 7 June 2017 The architects, builders and manufacturers working with prefab are also top-notch. Sandy Deneau Dunham, The Seattle Times, "A Q&A on prefabricated homes," 7 June 2017 Pricing is of course another major benefit of modern prefab. Elizabeth Stamp, CNN, "The 'prefab' housing resurgence rolls on," 1 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prefab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prefab


1937, in the meaning defined above


1942, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for prefab

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for prefab

The first known use of prefab was in 1937

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More Definitions for prefab



English Language Learners Definition of prefab

informal : a prefabricated building (such as a house)

More from Merriam-Webster on prefab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prefab

Nglish: Translation of prefab for Spanish Speakers

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