[ verb, adjective pree-set; noun pree-set ]

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

  2. to set (an electric or electronic appliance) to become activated at a designated time: We preset the coffeemaker to go on at 6 a.m.

  1. to adjust (a connector, switch, or the like) so that when activated it will perform a designated function: The tuning buttons on the radio are preset to my favorite FM stations.

  1. set in advance: a preset radio adjusted to receive certain stations.

  2. (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.

  1. a knob or button that activates a preset appliance: Just push the preset and coffee will be ready when you get up.

  2. a similar device on a radio that can be activated to tune in a preselected station.

Origin of preset

First recorded in 1930–35; pre- + set

Other words from preset

  • pre·set·ta·ble, adjective

Words Nearby preset Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use preset in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for preset


/ (prɪˈsɛt) /

verb-sets, -setting or -set (tr)
  1. to set (a timing device) so that something begins to operate at the time specified

  1. 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