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preempt

or pre-empt

[pree-empt]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
  2. to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate: a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
  3. to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
  2. to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.
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noun
  1. Bridge. a preemptive bid.
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Origin of preempt

1840–50, Americanism; back formation from preemption
Related formspre·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

Synonyms for preempt

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for preempt

confiscate, acquire, expropriate, seize, assume, arrogate, anticipate, commandeer, appropriate, obtain, bump, sequester, take, usurp, annex, accroach

Examples from the Web for preempt

Contemporary Examples of preempt

Historical Examples of preempt

  • It was what is called a wind-break and I determined to preempt it for the night.

  • The woman who forgives and doesn't forget is trying to preempt heaven and raise hell.

    The Complete Cynic

    Oliver Herford