preoperational

adjective pre·op·er·a·tion·al \ ˌprē-ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shnəl , -shə-nᵊl \
variants: or pre-operational

Definition of preoperational

psychology
: 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

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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