Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a. Undertaken or intended to deter or prevent an anticipated, usually unpleasant situation or occurrence: The two companies organized a preemptive alliance against a possible takeover by another firm.
b. Having the power to preempt or take precedence: preemptive authority.
2. Games Relating to or being a bid in bridge at a high level that is intended to interfere with the opponents' bidding.
or pre-emp•tive(priˈɛmp tɪv)
1. of or pertaining to preemption.
2. taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent: a preemptive strike against the enemy.
3. pertaining to an opening bid in bridge that is unnecessarily high, designed to prevent further bidding.