- 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 preempted
By stepping down, the embattled McCaffery preempted an ethics investigation that could have cost him his state pension.Judges Behaving Badly: A Great American Tradition
October 30, 2014
In fact, his Countdown program was preempted for the live caucus coverage.
The lowly rated four-hour block on caucus night preempted his show.
For the moment at least, the Obama White House has preempted both.The Republican Party's Next 5 Nightmares
January 5, 2011
Mandela, soon after the 1994 election, preempted them by publicly announcing he would step down after one five-year term.Nelson Mandela's Revelatory Diaries
October 16, 2010
We destroyed, we preempted; we are destroyed and we have been thrust out.Greener Than You Think
But this region was at once preempted for freedom upon the discovery of gold.The Anti-Slavery Crusade
So much earth must be preempted to extract so much moisture.The Land of Little Rain
Around the walls of the yellow parlor, chairs stood two deep, occupied, or preempted by fan or gloves or lacy handkerchief.The Valiants of Virginia
Hallie Erminie Rives
Among the wild kindreds, even as among men, most things worth having are preempted.The House in the Water
Charles G. D. Roberts