One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A pre-existing or inbuilt programme, set of instructions, etc.
with object To program (a computer or other device) by entering instructions in advance; to condition beforehand to behave in a predetermined way; to predetermine (operation, behaviour, etc.) by prior programming or conditioning. Also: to enter (instructions, data, etc.) into a device to control future action.
1970s; earliest use found in Animal Behaviour. From pre- + programme, after preprogrammed, preprogramming, preprogramme<br>1950s. From pre- + programme. Compare slightly earlier preprogramming.
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