preempt

verb
pre·​empt | \ prē-ˈem(p)t How to pronounce preempt (audio) \
preempted; preempting; preempts

Definition of preempt

transitive verb

1 : to acquire (something, such 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
3a : 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
b law : to replace or supersede (a law) or bar (an action) by the doctrine of preemption In so doing, the Court held that Congress did not intend to preempt common law contract claims.Charas v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.
4 : to gain a commanding or preeminent place in
5 : to prevent from happening or taking place : forestall, preclude

intransitive verb

: to make a preemptive bid in bridge

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from preempt

preemptor \ prē-​ˈem(p)-​tər How to pronounce preemptor (audio) \ noun

Examples of preempt in a Sentence

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The broadband industry lawsuit asks the court to rule that both the Vermont law and executive order are preempted by federal law. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues Vermont to stop state net neutrality law," 19 Oct. 2018 Nichols believes the fines are already preempted by state law, which limits the fines the Beach's zoning board can impose to $1,000 per day for the first violation and $5,000 per day for the repeat violation. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Miami Beach has the country's highest short-term rental fines. It just got sued.," 28 June 2018 The opponents warn that the state bill is preempted by federal law, though since the FCC actually took itself out of the business of regulating network neutrality, that's questionable. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "California's plan to protect net neutrality will shield consumers from telecom bullies," 20 Apr. 2018 Republican governor Doug Ducey tried to preempt a walkout by offering the teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020, last month. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Arizona Passes New Education Funding to End Teachers’ Strike," 3 May 2018 Meanwhile, a bill in the Florida Senate introduced by Clearwater Republican Greg Steube would preempt local governments from regulating short-term rentals, instead placing control in the state’s hands. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando OKs ordinance to allow some home sharing," 12 Feb. 2018 The networks also have to balance their obligation to inform viewers about current affairs versus their desire not to preempt lucrative prime-time entertainment programs for the speech. Josh Dawsey, The Seattle Times, "Trump to make prime-time address, visit US-Mexico border amid shutdown stalemate," 7 Jan. 2019 The Democratic takeover also prevents legislative efforts to weaken democratic structures like national voter ID requirements or preempting state automatic voter registration laws. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump has eroded important democratic institutions. Will Democratic wins change that?," 8 Nov. 2018 The ordinance also would institute universal background checks on buyers of firearms and challenges a 2011 state law preempting local governments from passing ordinances regulating guns. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orange County weighs closing gun-show loophole, reimposing 3-day waiting period," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preempt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of preempt

1850, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for preempt

back-formation from preemption

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about preempt

Statistics for preempt

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for preempt

The first known use of preempt was in 1850

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for preempt

preempt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of preempt

formal : to prevent (something) from happening
formal : to take the place of (something)
US : to be shown instead of (another television program)

preempt

transitive verb
pre·​empt | \ prē-ˈempt How to pronounce preempt (audio) \

Legal Definition of preempt

1a : to acquire (land) by preemption
b : to seize upon to the exclusion of others : take for oneself a senior user of a trademark could not preempt use of the mark in remote geographical marketsMesa Springs Enterprises v. Cutco Indus., 736 P.2d 1251 (1986)
2a : to replace or supersede (a law) by preemption such state laws are not preempted by the federal Energy Reorganization Act of 1974National Law Journal
b : to preclude or bar (an action) by preemption federal airline deregulation does not preempt claims under state contract lawNational Law Journal

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on preempt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preempt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preempt

Spanish Central: Translation of preempt

Nglish: Translation of preempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preempt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on preempt

What made you want to look up preempt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!