pre·​fab | \ (ˌ)prē-ˈfab How to pronounce prefab (audio) , 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

Noun The company sells hundreds of prefabs every year.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The irony is that the artisanal-cocktail movement was born, in no small part, out of a rejection of prefab drinks. Eric Felten, WSJ, "Cocktail Books: Here’s to Simple Pleasures," 24 Dec. 2020 Dwell took readers across the pond to check out an affordable work-from-home solution for Londoners in the form of $6,600 prefab office pods that can be put up in less than a day. Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property newsletter: Celebrity home sellers are racking up the sales," 5 Dec. 2020 Interest in a prefab, modular tiny home designed by Ms. Lustado’s firm, Sol Haus Design, soared. Emily Nonko, WSJ, "You Don’t Need a Home Office to Work From Home," 4 Dec. 2020 Even the games that seem purely prefab can still have a live element in them. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Meet the new generation of puzzle-makers bringing mystery to your door," 1 Dec. 2020 Particularly in the Midwest modular and prefab construction have been used for single-family homes that in some cases are a little more cookie-cutter and in North Dakota during the shale boom for man camp workforce-type housing. Todd Nelson Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Rise Modular CEO aims to 'industrialize construction' with factory-built modular apartments," 18 Oct. 2020 At first, Housley considered buying and building a prefab tiny house, but the idea was deemed impractical for hosting out-of-town visitors and working from home. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Stephanie Housley's Gorgeous Wyoming Cabin Is an Off-the-Grid Dream," 16 Oct. 2020 But this year, forget the the generic, prefab constructions on sale at the grocery store. Christopher Michel, Country Living, "How to Make Beautiful Gingerbread House Cottages," 8 Sep. 2020 Or travelers sent overseas, for whom a hotel is the ideal prefab base. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "When a Hotel Is Home: 10 Insiders on Living With Room Service," 14 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That's where this truck would be happy, on the open road, stoically towing a gigantic prefab shed or a yacht. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Ram 3500 Is Textbook Outrageous," 22 July 2019 Connor Mill-Built Homes constructs prefabs with historically accurate exteriors but all the necessities of modern living. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The Fantasy Utility Vehicle: A $300,000 Nostalgia Trip," 27 June 2019 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

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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Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prefab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of prefab

informal : a prefabricated building (such as a house)

More from Merriam-Webster on prefab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for prefab

Nglish: Translation of prefab for Spanish Speakers

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