preempt

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.

noun

Bridge. a preemptive bid.

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Origin of preempt

1840–50, Americanism; back formation from preemption

OTHER WORDS FROM preempt

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

British Dictionary definitions for preempt

pre-empt
/ (prɪˈɛmpt) /

verb

(tr) to acquire in advance of or to the exclusion of others; appropriate
(tr) mainly US to occupy (public land) in order to acquire a prior right to purchase
(intr) bridge to make a high opening bid, often on a weak hand, to shut out opposition bidding

Derived forms of pre-empt

pre-emptor, nounpre-emptory, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012