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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 ?
Between 2008 and March 16, 2018, 12 states enacted 13 laws preempting local food and nutrition policies.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- The Damascus Army opened heavy fire at the movements of a group of terrorists in the demilitarized zone in Northern Hama over the past 24 hours, preempting their attack on government forces, a field source reported.
"How was I preempting? That was decided by the party from the very beginning.
FCC, (1) the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the FCC's 2015 order preempting laws in Tennessee and North Carolina restricting the expansion of municipal broadband.
Trillanes also pointed out that Duterte was 'probably just preempting the numerous investigations against him by the Ombudsman.'
We join together today to protect important sources of income for Alaskas indigenous people, their culture, and an important part of our states history by preempting this vastly overreaching state legislation.
And that may depend on whether the Court trusts the preempting agency, or whether presumption leads to an outcome the justices prefer.
He said the investigation agencies lack the comprehensive legal powers to collect evidence through surveillance or interception although such legal cover is available to intelligence agencies in several other jurisdictions to preempt and prevent acts of crime or terror.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. In a consultation you need to have options."
Conversely, state courts interpreted ambiguous provisions in New Hampshire and Washington laws as preempting local smoking restrictions.
While some courts have found federal law to preempt discrete aspects of air safety, we hold that federal law establishes the applicable standards of care in the field of air safety, generally, thus preempting the entire field from State and territorial regulation.