Definition of "preempt" [pre•ëmpt]

  • To appropriate, seize, or take for oneself before others. See Synonyms at appropriate. (verb-transitive)
  • To take the place of; displace: A special news program preempted the scheduled shows. (verb-transitive)
  • To have precedence or predominance over: Discussion of the water shortage will preempt the other topics on this week's agenda. (verb-transitive)
  • To gain possession of by prior right or opportunity, especially to settle on (public land) so as to obtain the right to buy before others. (verb-transitive)
  • Games To make a preemptive bid in bridge. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "preempt" in a sentence
  • "One way to preempt is simply to be first to market."
  • ""your wrong its called preempt and it set the traffic ...""
  • "If the United States believes that there's a potential threat out there, should it preempt, which is a relatively different strategy from earlier U.S. presidents?"