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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 periodicals archive ?
The intelligence agencies will be performing their originally intended function of preempting any incidence of act of crime or terror in a timely manner to ensure the protection of fundamental rights including the right to life of the citizens of Pakistan.
Commissioner, Mick Giannasi, said: "The way the report is worded suggests a preempting.
Medtronic, in which the Court held that the regulatory approval process for medical devices was comprehensive enough to justify preempting claims that question the sufficiency of a warning label.
The New York department of state on January 11 said it had reversed its decision to reject applications for incorporation from two groups that wanted the word queer in their names, preempting a court challenge of the state's ban on the word.
8 /PRNewswire/ -- In a rare locking of arms, state groups representing governors, state attorneys general, state legislatures and state bank supervisors are working to stop the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) from preempting state laws for national banks and their subsidiaries.
Even when congressional intent is clear, there may still be litigation if the states feel that Congress overstepped its authority in preempting state action.
Congress and the administration are continually and steadily preempting state law, taking away the policy jurisdiction of state legislatures.
In other words, where the statute does not preempt state and local government law with express words, courts must interpret the statute as not preempting state and local government law.
However, courts should not, by preempting common law, give so much deference to FIFRA that they override states' interests in protecting their citizens and leave injured and ill individuals without recourse.
Borrowing with government-guaranteed debt may be interest sensitive, but the guarantees have the effect of preempting resources from those without access to riskless credit.