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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 ?
Mutual appealed to the 1st Circuit, arguing that the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) preempts design defect claims against generic drugs.
Defendant alleges that section 1131-1 of the municipal code preempts plaintiff's ordinance.
Oral arguments in the case, in which the Court will decide whether FDA approval of drug labeling preempts state products liability suits against manufacturers of allegedly defective drugs, are set for November 3.
Cigna and Aetna had both cases moved from state to federal court on the grounds that the federal ERISA preempts any claims regarding employee benefit plans.
Giving infants regular doses of medicine preempts malaria in the short term, but experience has shown that the children become particularly vulnerable to the illness once they stop taking the drugs.
A little quirk is that ESIGN's provisions relating to mortgage-backed securities expressly preempts any conflicting state law, including UETA.
5) For health plans that fall under its protection, ERISA preempts all state laws, including torts for breach of contract and negligence.
ISSUE: It is crystal clear that whenever there is a conflict between federal law and state law, federal law preempts state law.
If a federal law requires that a record be kept for some period of time, and the state law requires a shorter period, the federal law preempts the shorter state period, and the record must be kept for the longer federal period.
In Boggs, the Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempts state (in this case, Louisiana) community property laws to the extent they conflict with ERISA.
The FIA must include an identification of any provision of the rule that preempts state or local government law, the constitutional basis for each preemption; any language in the rule which constitutes an express preemption and the congressional intent behind it; any provision that establishes a condition for receipt of grant funds that is not related to the purpose of the grant program; any provision that constitutes a federal mandate, any regulatory alternatives considered by the agency; costs incurred by state and local governments as a result of the rule's issuance; and the extent of the agency's consultations with state and local government officials.
Perot preempts `Pearl': Figuring a Ross Perot infomercial might draw more yuks and bucks, CBS has bumped the regular time slot premiere of Rhea Perlman's freshman sitcom, ``Pearl,'' from Oct.