Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020 pre-empt /prɪˈɛmpt/ vb
- (transitive) to acquire in advance of or to the exclusion of others; appropriate
- (transitive) chiefly US to occupy (public land) in order to acquire a prior right to purchase
- (intransitive) to make a high opening bid, often on a weak hand, to shut out opposition bidding
pre•empt or pre-empt /priˈɛmpt/USA pronunciation
v. [~ + object]WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
pre•emp•tion, n. [uncountable]
- to acquire (something) before someone else;
take for oneself.
- to take the place of by being more important, or because of rescheduling, etc.;
supplant:A special news report on the earthquake preempted the game show.
- to prevent (something anticipated) by acting first;
head off:The rival company preempted our takeover bid by selling its stock.
(prē empt′),USA pronunciation v.t.
- to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
- to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself;
arrogate:a political issue preempted by the opposition party.
- to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.;
supplant:The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
- Games[Bridge.]to make a preemptive bid.
- to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first;
head off:an effort to preempt inflation.
(prē empt′),USA pronunciation n.
(prē empt′),USA pronunciation adj.
- Games[Bridge.]a preemptive bid.
- back formation from preemption 1840–50, American.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged claim, appropriate, usurp.
'pre-empt' also found in these entries: