- of or relating to preemption.
- taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent: a preemptive tactic against a ruthless business rival.
- preempting or possessing the power to preempt; appropriative; privileged: a commander's preemptive authority.
- Bridge. pertaining to, involving, or noting an opening bid or an overcall in a suit that is at an unnecessarily high level and that is essentially a defensive maneuver designed to make communication between one's opponents more difficult: a preemptive bid; to give a preemptive response.
Origin of preemptive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for pre-emptive
"My pre-emptive action of hand shaking was fruitless," Hatami said, explaining the kiss.The Kiss That Sent Iran Crazy and an Actress to Be Flogged in Public
May 23, 2014
The sacking of Bo Xilai is a pre-emptive move to ensure that the liberal line prevails in China, not the statist model.Bo Xilai’s Sacking Signals Showdown In China’s Communist Party
March 15, 2012
They are “in danger of committing pre-emptive superpower suicide out of a misplaced fear of declining power”.Credit for Cassandra, Cont'd.
February 7, 2012
In the last year alone, Allred has become the first name in pre-emptive Fembot litigation.Rise of the Fembots
April 19, 2010
The Constitution allows the president to issue such a blanket, pre-emptive pardon.Will Bush Pardon Himself?
January 18, 2009
- of, involving, or capable of pre-emption
- bridge (of a high bid) made to shut out opposition bidding
- military designed to reduce or destroy an enemy's attacking strength before it can use ita pre-emptive strike
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 pre-emptive
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper