- An example of to preempt is for a local government to take over a piece of land in order to widen a public road.
- An example of to preempt is news coverage of a world catastrophe being shown instead of your favorite tv show.
- to acquire (public land) by preemption
- to seize before anyone else can, excluding others; appropriate beforehand
- to prevent from happening by acting ahead of time; forestall
- to replace (a regularly scheduled program)
Origin of preemptback-formation from preemption
verbpre·empt·ed, pre·empt·ing, pre·empts
- To take the place of or take precedence over: Discussion of the water shortage will preempt the other topics on this week's agenda.
- a. To take action to prevent (an event or other action) from happening; forestall: “The [Joint] Chiefs … proposed the use of nuclear weapons to preempt China's anticipated attack on Formosa” ( James Carroll )b. To take action to prevent (another) from acting.
- a. To acquire or take for oneself before others; appropriate: “I've preempted the forward compartment [of the boat] with two berths shaped like a V … to make myself a double bunk” ( Joan Gould )b. 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.
Origin of preemptBack-formation from preemption
(third-person singular simple present preempts, present participle preempting, simple past and past participle preempted)
Back-formation from preemption.