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

Tom Belshe, deputy director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, describes the measure as a form of preemption. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "New law would make Arizona cities pay for raising the minimum wage," 19 Aug. 2019 Four states created preemptions this year alone with two only narrowly failing in South Carolina and Alabama. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "See the complicated landscape of plastic bans in the U.S.," 15 Aug. 2019 Eight states have introduced anti-preemption bills, though none have significantly progressed. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "See the complicated landscape of plastic bans in the U.S.," 15 Aug. 2019 Bolstering preemption is language from the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Examining Antonio Brown's Legal Options Against NFL Over Helmet Dispute," 11 Aug. 2019 In another case that relates to preemption, the high court prevented Laredo from enacting an ordinance that banned single-use plastic bags in stores. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Why Austin's legal fight leaves Dallas in uphill battle to save paid sick time ordinance," 5 Aug. 2019 The outcome of that case could affect any future appeals of Pai's new preemption plan. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai’s new gift to cable companies would kill local fees and rules," 15 July 2019 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

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

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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