View synonyms for preemption


or pre-emp·tion

[ pree-emp-shuhn ]


  1. the act or right of claiming or purchasing before or in preference to others.
  2. Law.
    1. Also called fed·e·ral pre·emp·tion. the doctrine that federal law takes precedence over state law when the two conflict.
    2. Also called state pre·emp·tion. the doctrine that state law takes precedence over local law, such as county or municipal legislation, when the two conflict.
  3. Military. a policy of attacking first when there is imminent threat of attack by an enemy, or an enactment of this policy: The possibility of preemption is of grave concern to several Pentagon officials.

    Preemption only works if there is sufficient intelligence capacity.

    The possibility of preemption is of grave concern to several Pentagon officials.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of preemption1

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Medieval Latin praeëmpt(us) “bought beforehand” (past participle of praeëmere ) + -ion; pre-, emptor; redeem ( def )

Discover More

Example Sentences

As governors and legislatures have gone red, preemption has helped them achieve “deregulation without replacement,” says Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professor who studies local governance.

From Vox

The map below, from a 2020 briefing for an American Gas Association board meeting, shows where members of the trade group campaigned for preemption laws.

From Vox

A pending state preemption bill in the Pennsylvania legislature, for example, would limit Philadelphia’s ability to encourage energy efficiency and electrification.

From Vox

States are increasingly using preemption as a partisan tool that prevents any regulation on a given issue.

From Vox

Allergan this month filed a motion asking the court to have the litigation dismissed on the grounds of federal preemption, a legal argument that individual lawsuits can’t be filed over medical devices the FDA has already approved.

From Fortune

Israelis have always seen the logic of current military preemption more clearly than that of eventual diplomatic engagement.

There will be a preemption for the presidential debate and election.

Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the court has taken up several cases that deal with federal preemption.

Arizona has played the immigration preemption game before—and won.

He therefore used his preemption right and occupied one hundred and sixty acres of land on what is now Eureka Flats.

Here he took up a preemption claim of one hundred and sixty acres, subsequently commuted this and then took up a homestead.

Preemption may become a more realistic option along the lines of Israel's strikes against Syria's nuclear reactors in 1982.

These settlement and preemption rights were almost inseparable, as the latter was dependent upon the former.

Thus were measures taken to let the privileged persons have the benefit of their preemption.