Definition of prefab in US English:



  • A prefabricated building.

    • ‘The school has been promised prefabs on the new site by the Department of Education as an interim measure.’
    • ‘Too many schools are in Victorian buildings or in 1960s prefabs that have been waiting to fall down for 20 years.’
    • ‘The school was granted some temporary prefabs to replace old dilapidated ones which were declared unsafe, but with both sets of these prefabs in the school at the same time, the children lost a lot of their playground space.’
    • ‘In addition to the main building there are four prefabs.’
    • ‘There are little bits of temporary 1940s housing all over London - there was a bomb site in my old road in Greenwich which stayed empty well into the 1980s, which once housed prefabs.’
    • ‘Finally, there is land available in the centre of York on which to build - the old Marygate evening class prefabs by the bowling green have been semi-derelict for years.’
    • ‘Due to this urgent health and safety issue, arrangements were put in train by the Office of Public Works, which has responsibility for the national Asbestos Programme of remediation in schools to replace the prefabs affected.’
    • ‘‘It was built for 40 children on a site with one building, now it has four prefabs and four times the numbers of children,’ said Ms Skelly McGovern.’
    • ‘Herbers covers a wealth of material to show how beautifully and stylishly designed today's prefabs are.’
    • ‘Some children have spent all their primary school lives in prefabs with no recreational facilities.’
    • ‘The architecture of the house and of its neighbours recalls Japanese and American timber-framed buildings, though at the time of building local residents likened them to prefabs.’
    • ‘Two years ago a public meeting was held in Nurney relating to conditions of the existing 1915 school building and the need to replace the three outdated prefabs.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, she stresses the main building and the prefabs are comfortable.’
    • ‘The Principal added that he hopes to finalise contracts for the new crèche within the near future while eight new prefabs for the school are expected to be completed in time for the start of the new academic year.’
    • ‘At that time there was not a mention of school closure - everything looked rosy in the garden with the promise of some 11 prefabs for the school.’


  • Prefabricated.

    ‘prefab walls’


1930s: abbreviation.