View synonyms for preemptive


or pre-emp·tive

[ pree-emp-tiv ]


  1. of or relating to preemption.
  2. taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent:

    a preemptive tactic against a ruthless business rival.

  3. preempting or possessing the power to preempt; appropriative; privileged:

    a commander's preemptive authority.

  4. Bridge. pertaining to, involving, or noting an opening bid or an overcall in a suit that is at an unnecessarily high level and that is essentially a defensive maneuver designed to make communication between one's opponents more difficult:

    a preemptive bid; to give a preemptive response.

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Other Words From

  • pre·emp·tive·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of preemptive1

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; preempt + -ive
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Example Sentences

One would require “objective measures” for determining whether a jurisdiction has a pattern of discrimination requiring preemptive federal review.

I wanted to see the thing with virgin ideas, to be fully immersed in my own impressions and experiences, without the preemptive bias of some digital stranger.

They can prove the effectiveness of campaigns and provide preemptive insight into what a target audience wants.

From Digiday

By gathering preemptive insights about the receptiveness and preferences of a target audience, marketers can create campaigns that cater best to that audience.

From Digiday

More than a year into the pandemic, most of us regard Zoom encounters with preemptive dread.

So Israel should start thinking more about preemptive technology.

To this supporter of preemptive war and conservative fiscal policy, wars and tax cuts were two great tastes that went together.

The Democrats made a preemptive strike, and now the Republicans will exact their revenge.

However, compare this philosophy with the fact that, for a time, Churchill favored preemptive nuclear war against Russia.

Our leaders justify the warfare through the doctrine of preemptive warfare.

Staggered by this preemptive right, sacred to all miners, Cass stopped.