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

Word History

First Known Use

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of preoperational was in 1951

Dictionary Entries Near preoperational

Cite this Entry

“Preoperational.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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