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preformation

[pree-fawr-mey-shuh n] /ˌpri fɔrˈmeɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
previous formation.
2.
Biology. (formerly) the theory that the individual, with all its parts, preexists in the germ cell and grows from microscopic to normal proportions during embryogenesis (opposed to epigenesis).
Origin
1725-1735
1725-35; pre- + formation
Related forms
preformationary, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for preformationary

preformation

/ˌpriːfɔːˈmeɪʃən/
noun
1.
the act of forming in advance; previous formation
2.
(biology) the theory, now discredited, that an individual develops by simple enlargement of a fully differentiated egg cell Compare epigenesis (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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