[ pree-empt ]
/ priˈɛmpt /
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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.
to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.
verb (used without object)
Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
Bridge. a preemptive bid.
OTHER WORDS FOR preempt
1 claim, appropriate, usurp.
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Origin of preempt
An Americanism first recorded in 1840–50; back formation from preemption
OTHER WORDS FROM preemptpre·emp·ti·ble [pree-emp-tuh-buhl], /priˈɛmp tə bəl/, adjectivepre·emp·tor [pree-emp-tawr, -ter], /priˈɛmp tɔr, -tər/, nounpre·emp·to·ry [pree-emp-tuh-ree], /priˈɛmp tə ri/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use preempt in a sentence
After Jim Crow laws were abolished, these preemptory challenges were the tool used to keep blacks off of juries.George Zimmerman Is Destined for a Hung Jury|Mansfield Frazier|April 21, 2012|DAILY BEAST
As we passed by a house an upper window was lifted and a voice called out in a preemptory tone and asked what cavalry that was.A History of the Town of Fairfax|Jeanne Johnson Rust
That command two nights ago for me to be on the spot every night was just too preemptory for me to oblige.The Brain|Alexander Blade
She sat down on the top step of the landing, where she had so often paused to read her letters, and re-read the preemptory letter.
Quite accustomed to the old ladys moods, Marjorie obligingly complied with the preemptory request.
British Dictionary definitions for preempt
/ (prɪˈɛmpt) /
(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-emptpre-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