- 1 preempt something to prevent something from happening by taking action to stop it Her departure preempted any further questions. A good training course will preempt many problems. The government announced it had preempted a coup attempt.
- 2 preempt somebody/something to do or say something before someone else does She was just about to apologize when he preempted her. I do not want to preempt anything that the treasurer is going to say.
- 3 preempt something to replace a planned program on the television The scheduled program will be preempted by a special news bulletin.
NAmE//priˈɛmpt//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they preempt he / she / it preempts past simple preempted -ing form preempting