ignition of the charge in an internal-combustion engine earlier in the cycle than is compatible with proper operation.

1895–1900; pre- + ignition Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Preignition causes engines to run rough, and to not shut off when the key is turned off.
The preignition oxidative behavior of the alloy was highly variable.
Such hot spots may cause preignition, with high peak combustion temperature and pressure and increased detonation tendency.
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