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preempt

[pree-empt] /priˈɛmpt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
2.
to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate:
a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
3.
to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant:
The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
verb (used without object)
4.
Bridge. to make a preemptive bid.
5.
to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off:
an effort to preempt inflation.
noun
6.
Bridge. a preemptive bid.
Also, pre-empt.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50, Americanism; back formation from preemption
Related forms
preemptible, adjective
preemptor
[pree-emp-tawr, -ter] /priˈɛmp tɔr, -tər/ (Show IPA),
noun
preemptory
[pree-emp-tuh-ree] /priˈɛmp tə ri/ (Show IPA),
adjective
unpreempted, adjective
Synonyms
1. claim, appropriate, usurp.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for pre-empt

pre-empt

/prɪˈɛmpt/
verb
1.
(transitive) to acquire in advance of or to the exclusion of others; appropriate
2.
(transitive) (mainly US) to occupy (public land) in order to acquire a prior right to purchase
3.
(intransitive) (bridge) to make a high opening bid, often on a weak hand, to shut out opposition bidding
Derived Forms
pre-emptor, noun
pre-emptory, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pre-empt
v.

also preempt, 1830, "secure by pre-emtion," back-formation from pre-emption, originally American English. In the broascasting sense, it is attested from 1965, American English, a euphemism for "cancel." Related: pre-empted; preempted.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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