- 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 preemptory
After Jim Crow laws were abolished, these preemptory challenges were the tool used to keep blacks off of juries.George Zimmerman Is Destined for a Hung Jury
April 21, 2012
That command two nights ago for me to be on the spot every night was just too preemptory for me to oblige.The Brain
As we passed by a house an upper window was lifted and a voice called out in a preemptory tone and asked what cavalry that was.A History of the Town of Fairfax
Jeanne Johnson Rust
She sat down on the top step of the landing, where she had so often paused to read her letters, and re-read the preemptory letter.
Quite accustomed to the old ladys moods, Marjorie obligingly complied with the preemptory request.