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[pree-emp-tiv] /priˈɛmp tɪv/
of or relating to preemption.
taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent:
a preemptive tactic against a ruthless business rival.
preempting or possessing the power to preempt; appropriative; privileged:
a commander's preemptive authority.
Bridge. pertaining to, involving, or noting an opening bid or an overcall in a suit that is at an unnecessarily high level and that is essentially a defensive maneuver designed to make communication between one's opponents more difficult:
a preemptive bid; to give a preemptive response.
Also, pre-emptive.
Origin of preemptive
1785-95, Americanism; preempt + -ive
Related forms
preemptively, adverb
Can be confused
peremptory, preemptive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for preemptive
  • This token action is little more than preemptive damage control.
  • It seems I've been preemptive in my bid for immortality.
  • Obviously such systems are responsive and not preemptive, like this proposed system.
  • Both are already making preemptive efforts at spin.
  • Each of the measures assumes the user's guilt and attempts to create a preemptive solution.
  • There was no preemptive mechanism in place, it was a wait and see attitude.
  • So we made a preemptive offer and put together the dream campaign.
  • The justification for lunar hegemony is preemptive.
  • We just hope our funky gym bag doesn't trigger a preemptive meltdown.
  • Governments will do well to study this problem carefully and take preemptive measures before things get dangerously out of hand.

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