or pre-empt

[ pree-empt ]
/ priˈɛmpt /

verb (used with object)

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.

verb (used without object)

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



pre·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for pre-emptor

  • 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
  • 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.

  • 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