or pre-empt


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
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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preempted

Contemporary Examples of preempted

Historical Examples of preempted

  • We destroyed, we preempted; we are destroyed and we have been thrust out.

  • But this region was at once preempted for freedom upon the discovery of gold.

  • So much earth must be preempted to extract so much moisture.

  • 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