Definition of prem in English:



  • A premature baby.

    ‘the only way they could see to keep prems alive at the time was by using pure oxygen’
    • ‘All four are happy and healthy despite their rocky start to life and are taking part in the Walk for Prems to raise money for the charity.’
    • ‘One meta-analysis casts doubt with regard to prems and infection.’
    • ‘It is of supreme importance to provide the prem with human milk.’
    • ‘My daughter was took bad in the night and they think the baby is going to be a prem.’
    • ‘Children's specialists are improving the outlook for prems (frail, under-developed babies, some born too soon).’


  • (of a baby) premature.

    • ‘I know my way around a prem unit, having had six premature babies, but basically they fooled me.’
    • ‘A nurse told how the prem babies became hypothermic during the critical half hour periods when the generators were switched off.’
    • ‘There were many of us in those days who were born with brain damage, and since then they've controlled the oxygen flow and we have much less trouble with prem births.’
    • ‘A doctor has never stated this as fact, but when Anne needs a doctor or hospital visit, we are always asked if she was a prem baby.’
    • ‘It amazes me how complete she is, 7 weeks prem and although she is half the size that Josh was when he was born she has all the necessary fingers and toes.’


1950s: abbreviation of premature.