or pre-empt

[ pree-empt ]
/ priˈɛmpt /

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.

verb (used without object)

Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.


Bridge. a preemptive bid.

Nearby words

  1. preeminence,
  2. preeminent,
  3. preeminently,
  4. preemphasis,
  5. preemployment,
  6. preemption,
  7. preemptive,
  8. preemptive right,
  9. preemptive strike,
  10. preemptor

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for preemptory

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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