[ verb, adjective pree-set; noun pree-set ]
/ verb, adjective priˈsɛt; noun ˈpriˌsɛt /

verb (used with object), pre·set, pre·set·ting.


set in advance: a preset radio adjusted to receive certain stations.
(of the guidance system of a missile or the course of flight it determines) set before launching to reach a specific destination without any alteration in response to signals from the ground.


a knob or button that activates a preset appliance: Just push the preset and coffee will be ready when you get up.
a similar device on a radio that can be activated to tune in a preselected station.

Nearby words

  1. preservation,
  2. preservationist,
  3. preservative,
  4. preserve,
  5. preserving,
  6. preset board,
  7. preshave,
  8. preshrink,
  9. preshrunk,
  10. preside

Origin of preset

First recorded in 1930–35; pre- + set

Related formspre·set·ta·ble, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preset

British Dictionary definitions for preset


/ (prɪˈsɛt) /

verb -sets, -setting or -set (tr)

to set (a timing device) so that something begins to operate at the time specified


electronics a control, such as a variable resistor, that is not as accessible as the main controls and is used to set initial conditions
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

Word Origin and History for preset


also pre-set, 1934 (adj.); 1946 (v.); from pre- + set (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper