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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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.preemptor - someone who acquires land by preemption
appropriator - someone who takes for his or her own use (especially without permission)
2.preemptor - a bidder in bridge who makes a preemptive bid
bidder - someone who makes a bid at cards
References in periodicals archive ?
Tenders are invited for Development Of Preemptor Systems
He may be a Bodyguard or a Preemptor (or both) (97-8).
It draws on research originally involving macaque monkeys: the activation that occurs in the monkey's preemptor cortex when watching someone else engaging in a certain activity.