- to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
- to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate: a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
- to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
- Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
- to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.
- Bridge. a preemptive bid.
Origin of preempt
1840–50, Americanism; back formation from preemption
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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
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
They would have to push on still further westward if they wished to find good land ready for the pre-emptor.The Boy Settlers
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