theory of preformation
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|Noun||1.||theory of preformation - a theory (popular in the 18th century and now discredited) that an individual develops by simple enlargement of a tiny fully formed organism (a homunculus) that exists in the germ cell|
theory - a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"