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v. pre·empt·ed, pre·empt·ing, pre·empts
1. To take the place of or take precedence over: Discussion of the water shortage will preempt the other topics on this week's agenda.
a. To take action to prevent (an event or other action) from happening; forestall: "The [Joint] Chiefs ... proposed the use of nuclear weapons to preempt China's anticipated attack on Formosa" (James Carroll).
b. To take action to prevent (another) from acting.
a. To acquire or take for oneself before others; appropriate: "I've preempted the forward compartment [of the boat] with two berths shaped like a V ... to make myself a double bunk" (Joan Gould).
b. To gain possession of by prior right or opportunity, especially to settle on (public land) so as to obtain the right to buy before others.
v.intr. Games
To make a preemptive bid in bridge.

[Back-formation from preemption.]

pre·emp′tor′ (-ĕmp′tôr′) n.
pre·emp′to·ry (-ĕmp′tə-rē) adj.


or pre-empt


1. to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy; claim.
2. to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate.
3. to take the place of because of priorities, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: A special news report preempted the game show.
4. to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; head off.
5. Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
6. Bridge. a preemptive bid.
[1840–50, Amer.; back formation from preemption]
pre•emp′ti•ble, adj.
pre•emp′tor (-tɔr, -tər) n.
pre•emp′to•ry (-tə ri) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preempt - a high bid that is intended to prevent the opposing players from bidding
bidding, bid - (bridge) the number of tricks a bridge player is willing to contract to make
Verb1.preempt - acquire for oneself before others can do so
acquire, get - come into the possession of something concrete or abstract; "She got a lot of paintings from her uncle"; "They acquired a new pet"; "Get your results the next day"; "Get permission to take a few days off from work"
2.preempt - take the place of or have precedence over; "live broadcast of the presidential debate preempts the regular news hour"; "discussion of the emergency situation will preempt the lecture by the professor"
supercede, supersede, supervene upon, supplant, replace - take the place or move into the position of; "Smith replaced Miller as CEO after Miller left"; "the computer has supplanted the slide rule"; "Mary replaced Susan as the team's captain and the highest-ranked player in the school"
3.preempt - gain possession of by prior right or opportunity, especially so as to obtain the right to buy (land)
acquire, get - come into the possession of something concrete or abstract; "She got a lot of paintings from her uncle"; "They acquired a new pet"; "Get your results the next day"; "Get permission to take a few days off from work"
4.preempt - make a preemptive bid in the game of bridge
bridge - any of various card games based on whist for four players
bid, call - make a demand, as for a card or a suit or a show of hands; "He called his trump"


or pre-empt
1. To lay claim to for oneself or as one's right:
2. To cause to be busy or in use:
References in classic literature ?
Then we have another weird neighbor, who printed a beautiful sign in English and tacked it on the door of his cabin, which we have preempted, warning us to destroy none of his belongings, and signing himself "Tarzan of the Apes.
Thus, all unread in philosophy, Daylight preempted for himself the position and vocation of a twentieth-century superman.
Garcia further said the House committee is trying its best to get to the bottom of things to find the truth in manner that is most objective, apolitical and totally without agenda but that the panel is being preempted by the CIDG chief's pronouncement in the media last week about the case filing against certain police officers.
Herrera's lawsuit was not entirely preempted by federal law and that the lawsuit filed by the San Francisco City Attorney in state court would be permitted to proceed.
Mensing, which held that failure-to-warn claims against generic-drug manufacturers are preempted.
Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, noted that there was "nothing in this bill that eliminates plastic bags in the waste stream," and he feared that cities wanting to ban bags would be preempted from doing so under the bill's language.
This time, defendant cited case law to argue that it could not be liable, either directly or vicariously, for Kim's alleged negligence because the Dramshop Act preempted "the entire field of alcohol-related liability.
The state Supreme Court concluded that since Oregon's medical marijuana law "affirmatively authorized the very conduct that federal law prohibited" - that is, the use of medical marijuana - the Oregon law is "an obstacle to the enforcement of federal law" and is therefore preempted.
At the heart of the issue is the FDOT contention that any final construction certificate granted by FERC to FGT should make it clear that a utility permit issued by a state such as Florida, and the conditions in such a permit, are not preempted by the Natural Gas Act.
6015 preempted state community property law with respect to the calculation of refunds.
This provision is designed to address overreaching by the agency with respect to its mattress flammability standards, which stated that the rule preempted common law claims.
The amendment would have preempted state and local land use laws by prohibiting any state or local government from exercising eminent domain authority over any "farmland or grazing land for the purpose of a park, recreation, open space, conservation, preservation view, scenic vista or similar purpose.