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preempt

or pre-empt

[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.
Origin of preempt
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. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for preemptory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As we passed by a house an upper window was lifted and a voice called out in a preemptory tone and asked what cavalry that was.

    A History of the Town of Fairfax Jeanne Johnson Rust
  • Quite accustomed to the old ladys moods, Marjorie obligingly complied with the preemptory request.

  • That command two nights ago for me to be on the spot every night was just too preemptory for me to oblige.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • She sat down on the top step of the landing, where she had so often paused to read her letters, and re-read the preemptory letter.

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