preemption

noun
pre·​emp·​tion | \ prē-ˈem(p)-shən How to pronounce preemption (audio) \

Definition of preemption

1a : 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 : a prior seizure or appropriation : a taking possession before others
3a : a doctrine in law according to which federal law supersedes state law when federal law is in conflict with a state law Even without an express provision for preemption, we have found that state law must yield to a congressional Act in at least two circumstances.Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council

called also federal preemption

b : a doctrine in law according to which the legislation of a superior government (such as a state government) supersedes that of an inferior government (such as a municipal government) in conflicts of law
4 : a policy of launching a preemptive attack in order to prevent a suspected imminent attack

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Examples of preemption in a Sentence

longtime residents resented the preemption of their urban neighborhood by this influx of affluent yuppies

Recent Examples on the Web

Rieck's association successfully blocked the bans by invoking Ohio's preemption rule, which stops cities from overriding state gun laws. Cameron Knight, USA TODAY, "Dayton shooter used a modified gun that may have exploited a legal loophole," 5 Aug. 2019 Usually preemption can only be overcome if there is a finding of fraudulent acts on the part of the employer. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Kevin Durant's Achilles Injury and the Potential Legal Implications," 17 June 2019 After next month's vote, San Francisco could sue the FCC to block the preemption. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai tries to kill San Francisco’s attempt to spur broadband competition," 20 June 2019 Ohio's local gun law preemption has been upheld in the courts. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati sues state over law barring local gun restrictions," 6 June 2019 Ultimately, the question of whether the FCC's preemption of state laws is valid will be decided in a different lawsuit pending at the US Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Entire broadband industry sues California to stop net neutrality law," 3 Oct. 2018 Charter lost multiple court decisions Charter argued in court that the case should be dismissed, citing the FCC's net neutrality repeal and related preemption of state laws. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Charter users who didn’t get promised speeds will get $75 or $150 refunds," 18 Dec. 2018 Charter then moved to dismiss the action on various grounds, including federal preemption; the Attorney General's office successfully opposed that motion, which the trial court denied in full. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Charter users who didn’t get promised speeds will get $75 or $150 refunds," 18 Dec. 2018 The states' lawsuit against the FCC seeks to reinstate federal net neutrality rules and prevent preemption of state laws, such as one just passed in California. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "3 states try to help the FCC kill net neutrality and preempt state laws," 23 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of preemption

1602, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for preemption

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

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Statistics for preemption

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for preemption

The first known use of preemption was in 1602

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More Definitions for preemption

preemption

noun
pre·​emp·​tion | \ prē-ˈemp-shən How to pronounce preemption (audio) \

Legal Definition of preemption

1a : the right of purchasing before others : preemptive right
b : a right to purchase a tract of public land before others that was given by the government to the actual occupant of the land

Note: This sense of preemption is primarily of historical importance.

2 : a doctrine in conflicts of law: when a superior government (as of a state) has undertaken to regulate a subject its laws supersede those of an inferior government (as of a municipality)

Note: According to the doctrine of preemption, federal law supersedes state law when federal law is in conflict with a state law on a subject or when there is congressional intent to regulate a subject to the exclusion of the states. Federal preemption is based on the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution and is closely related to the powers granted Congress in the commerce clause.

3 : an act or instance of preempting

History and Etymology for preemption

Medieval Latin praeemption- praeemptio previous purchase, from praeemere to buy before

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More from Merriam-Webster on preemption

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preemption

Britannica English: Translation of preemption for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about preemption

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