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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web In September, Nevada's Republican Party will consider bypassing its 2020 presidential nominating caucuses and instead have governing members endorse Trump, preempting all primary challenges. Will Weissert, Fortune, "Why Republicans Running Against Trump Won’t Get Much Help From Their Party," 26 Aug. 2019 Both leaders have expressed frustration over measures the Texas legislature has taken to preempt local gun control. Robert Downen, Houston Chronicle, "TURNER GUNS," 21 Aug. 2019 Often, efforts to preempt plastic bans are aided by the plastics industry, which wants to ensure its products remain widely used. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "See the complicated landscape of plastic bans in the U.S.," 15 Aug. 2019 The third ill wind is China emerging as a superpower, wanting to control the narrative and co-opt people and preempt any criticism of it. Eric Johnson, Vox, "The wrong US response to Russia and China may trigger a “new Cold War,” warns Stanford University’s Larry Diamond," 7 Aug. 2019 The Federal Communications Commission voted to preempt part of a San Francisco city law that prevents property owners from denying internet service providers access to existing wiring within multi-unit buildings. Sophia Kunthara, SFChronicle.com, "FCC votes to block part of San Francisco broadband law," 10 July 2019 Some police leaders and academics expected predictive technology to revolutionize law enforcement by preempting criminal activity. Mark Puente, latimes.com, "LAPD pioneered predicting crime with data. Many police don’t think it works," 3 July 2019 De Blasio’s appointees partially modified the anti-travel regulation, and the anti-gun state government enacted a law partially preempting such regulations. David B. Kopel, National Review, "Heller’s Precarious Situation," 12 Sep. 2019 In the replay, where West preempted with a cheesy weak two-bid, North-South reached the slam on momentum. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: July 28, 2019," 28 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of preempt

1850, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for preempt

back-formation from preemption

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Statistics for preempt

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for preempt

The first known use of preempt was in 1850

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More Definitions for preempt

preempt

verb
How to pronounce preempt (audio)

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)
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on preempt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for preempt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preempt

Spanish Central: Translation of preempt

Nglish: Translation of preempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of preempt for Arabic Speakers

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