Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1800-1900
Origin: preemption (17-21 centuries), from Medieval Latin praeemere 'to buy before'

pre-empt

verb
     
pre-empt , preempt [transitive]
1 to make what someone has planned to do or say unnecessary or ineffective by saying or doing something first:
The deal pre-empted a strike by rail workers.
2 American English to replace a television show with a special programme or report:
Regular programming was preempted by a report on the war.
pre-emption noun [uncountable]

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