preemptive

or pre-emp·tive

[pree-emp-tiv]
adjective
  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.

Origin of preemptive

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; preempt + -ive
Related formspre·emp·tive·ly, adverb
Can be confusedperemptory preemptive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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