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an action that is taken before an adversary can act: a preemptive strike
Not to be confused with:
peremptory – arbitrary, dogmatic, domineering; imperative: a peremptory order; imperious or dictatorial; assertive: a peremptory manner
preemptory – occupation of land to establish a prior right to buy: preemptory claim; an act or statement that is absolute; it cannot be denied: a preemptory challenge
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


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.

pre·emp′tive·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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.
[1785–95, Amer.]
pre•emp′tive•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.preemptive - designed or having the power to deter or prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence; "a preemptive business offer"
preventative, preventive - tending to prevent or hinder
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Laguna provincial government on Tuesday advised local disaster responders to be ready should they need to enforce preemptive evacuations because of Tropical Depression 'Jenny.'
The Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) reminded the public to follow advisories on preemptive evacuation during calamities.
In his statement following the attack, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale built a flawed case for preemptive self-defence, vaguely referring to 'credible intelligence' concerning the 'imminence of future attacks' that made a 'preemptive strike absolutely necessary.' It is unclear whether Article 51 of the UN Charter or right of self-defence under customary international law, however stretched, stretches to encompass Gokhale's perspective on self-defence.
He explained 'A non military preemptive strike means that a military target has not been hit by the Indian Air Force.
She said residents in low-lying areas must not take for granted early warnings, and that they should do preemptive evacuation even before nearby rivers overflow and flood their respective communities.
Administrating analgesics before the surgical procedure is called preemptive analgesia, which can decrease central pain sensitization, leading to a reduction in deleterious body reaction to the surgical stimuli and acute pain intensity.
Van Backer, M.D., from Albany Medical Center in New York, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of preemptive analgesia in reducing postoperative pain among adult patients undergoing surgery for anal fissure, fistula or condyloma, or hemorrhoids.
Because current JNES shareholders have preemptive rights, existing shareholders of record as of June 29, 2018, may purchase the number of shares necessary to maintain their ownership percentages prior to the offering to the community.
Baquba, Iraq (N(INA) -- The 110th Brigade of in the popular mobilization announced the seizure of a vehicle to Daesh in a preemptive operation north-east of Baquba.
Download Sarraf checks on Arsal operation wounded soldiers: Army's accomplishment spared us a huge risk, boosting preemptive operations to detect terrorist networks NNA - National Defense Minister, Yaacoub al-Sarraf, visited Sunday the soldiers who were injured during the security operation in Arsal, checking on their health conditions and wishing them speedy recovery.