- 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 preempting
I felt like going into the Northwest and preempting a homestead.One Way Out
She stepped through her curtain and said gaily: "You're preempting my privilege, Philip."Claire
Leslie Burton Blades
He called up both women, alleging a visit to strike headquarters to one, and preempting the other for the afternoon.Mountain