pre·​form | \ ˈprē-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce preform (audio) , (ˌ)prē-ˈfȯrm \
preformed; preforming; preforms

Definition of preform

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to form or shape beforehand
2 : to bring to approximate preliminary shape and size


pre·​form | \ ˈprē-ˌfȯrm How to pronounce preform (audio) \
plural preforms

Definition of preform (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of various objects of manufacture or handicraft after preliminary shaping: such as
a : a rough gemstone that has been cut to approximately its finished size and shape
b : a tube produced for the purpose of being molded into a particular form (such as a bottle)

Examples of preform in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ricketts also vetoed a bill that would have increased occupational licensing requirements on people who preform manicures and pedicures on natural nails. Grant Schulte, Star Tribune, "Nebraska governor vetoes death penalty transparency bill," 17 Aug. 2020 For example, feelings related to fear, such as horror or terror, are cognitively assembled conceptions of one’s situation, rather than preformed, innate mental states inherited from animals. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 But the Hunter for Target line is mass-produced in a factory, using a preformed mold. Abha Bhattarai,, "Upscale, downscale: Target draws customers with collaborations with high-end brands," 16 Apr. 2018 The 21-story Hilton Palacio del Rio was built in 202 days, using a crane to lift preformed, furnished room modules into place. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "HemisFair ’68 transformed the city," 31 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of preform


1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1931, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for preform


Latin praeformare, from prae- + formare to form, from forma form

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preform

Time Traveler for preform

Time Traveler

The first known use of preform was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Statistics for preform

Cite this Entry

“Preform.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on preform Encyclopedia article about preform

Comments on preform

What made you want to look up preform? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!