preempt

or pre-empt

[pree-empt]
verb (used with object)
  1. to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
  2. to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate: a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
  3. to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
verb (used without object)
  1. Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
  2. to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.
noun
  1. Bridge. a preemptive bid.

Origin of preempt

1840–50, Americanism; back formation from preemption
Related formspre·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

Synonyms for preempt

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for preemptory

Contemporary Examples of preemptory

Historical Examples of preemptory

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.