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a. The right to purchase something before others, especially the right to purchase public land that is granted to one who has settled on that land.
b. A purchase made by such a right.
2. Prior seizure of, appropriation of, or claim to something, such as property.
3. The action of preempting, as the use of military force in a preemptive attack.
4. Law The doctrine that federal law takes precedence over state law.

[pre- + Latin ēmptiō, ēmptiōn-, buying (from ēmptus, past participle of emere, to buy; see em- in Indo-European roots).]


or pre-emp•tion

(priˈɛmp ʃən)

1. the act or right of claiming or purchasing before or in preference to others.
2. the act of preempting.
[1595–1605; < Medieval Latin praeemptiō previous purchase, derivative (with Latin -tiō -tion) of praeemere to buy beforehand]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preemption - the judicial principle asserting the supremacy of federal over state legislation on the same subject
judicial doctrine, judicial principle, legal principle - (law) a principle underlying the formulation of jurisprudence
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
2.preemption - the right of a government to seize or appropriate something (as property)
legal right - a right based in law
3.preemption - the right to purchase something in advance of others
right - an abstract idea of that which is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature; "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights"; "Certain rights can never be granted to the government but must be kept in the hands of the people"- Eleanor Roosevelt; "a right is not something that somebody gives you; it is something that nobody can take away"
preemptive right - the right granting to shareholders the first opportunity to buy a new issue of stock; provides protection against dilution of the shareholder's ownership interest
subscription right - the right of a shareholder in a company to subscribe to shares of a new issue of common stock before it is offered to the public
4.preemption - a prior appropriation of something; "the preemption of bandwidth by commercial interests"
appropriation - a deliberate act of acquisition of something, often without the permission of the owner; "the necessary funds were obtained by the government's appropriation of the company's operating unit"; "a person's appropriation of property belonging to another is dishonest"


or pre-emption
The act of taking something for oneself: