Simple Definition of preempt
: to prevent (something) from happening
: to take the place of (something)
: to be shown instead of (another television program)
Full Definition of preempt
1 : to acquire (as land) by preemption
2 : to seize upon to the exclusion of others : take for oneself <the movement was then preempted by a lunatic fringe>
3 : to replace with something considered to be of greater value or priority : take precedence over <the program did not appear, having been preempted by a baseball game — Robert MacNeil>
4 : to gain a commanding or preeminent place in
: to make a preemptive bid in bridge
Examples of preempt
The contract preempts lawsuits by the company's clients.
The state law was preempted by a federal law.
The President's speech preempted regular programming.
Origin of preempt
back-formation from preemption
First Known Use: 1850
Seen and Heard
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