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preempt

or pre-empt

[pree-empt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
  2. to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate: a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
  3. to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
verb (used without object)
  1. Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
  2. to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.
noun
  1. Bridge. a preemptive bid.

Origin of preempt

1840–50, Americanism; back formation from preemption
Related formspre·emp·ti·ble, adjectivepre·emp·tor [pree-emp-tawr, -ter] /priˈɛmp tɔr, -tər/, nounpre·emp·to·ry [pree-emp-tuh-ree] /priˈɛmp tə ri/, adjectiveun·pre·empt·ed, adjective

Synonyms

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1. claim, appropriate, usurp.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pre-emptor

Historical Examples

  • The pre-emptor of land must pay $1 an acre for it, live upon it for two years, and improve it to the extent of $2.50 per acre.

    Canada West 1914

    Unknown

  • They would have to push on still further westward if they wished to find good land ready for the pre-emptor.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks

  • In court the pre-emptor, examining his own witness, would say, What are the dimensions of that house of mine?

    Greater Britain

    Charles Wentworth Dilke