1. An exceedingly minute body which, according to the views of development held by medical scientists of the 16th and 17th centuries, was contained in a sex cell. From this preformed but infinitely small structure the human body was supposed to be developed.
See: preformation theory, animalcule.
2. The figure of a human sometimes superimposed on pictures of the surface of the brain to represent the motor or sensory regions of the body represented there.
Origin: L. Dim. Of homo, man