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preemption

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noun pre·emp·tion \-ˈem(p)-shən\

Definition of preemption

  1. 1 a :  the right of purchasing before others; especially :  one given by the government to the actual settler upon a tract of public land b :  the purchase of something under this right

  2. 2 :  a prior seizure or appropriation :  a taking possession before others

  3. 3 :  a doctrine in law according to which federal law supersedes state law when federal law is in conflict with a state law

  4. 4 :  a policy of launching a preemptive attack in order to prevent a suspected imminent attack



Examples of preemption

  1. <longtime residents resented the preemption of their urban neighborhood by this influx of affluent yuppies>



Origin of preemption

Medieval Latin praeemption-, praeemptio previous purchase, from praeemere to buy before, from Latin prae- pre- + emere to buy — more at redeem


First Known Use: 1602



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