World English Dictionary
pre-empt (prɪˈɛmpt)
1.  (tr) to acquire in advance of or to the exclusion of others; appropriate
2.  chiefly (US) (tr) to occupy (public land) in order to acquire a prior right to purchase
3.  (intr) bridge to make a high opening bid, often on a weak hand, to shut out opposition bidding

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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