English

Definition of pre-empt verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    pre-empt

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//priˈempt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈempt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they pre-empt
    BrE BrE//priˈempt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈempt//
     
    he / she / it pre-empts
    BrE BrE//priˈempts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈempts//
     
    past simple pre-empted
    BrE BrE//priˈemptɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈemptɪd//
     
    past participle pre-empted
    BrE BrE//priˈemptɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈemptɪd//
     
    -ing form pre-empting
    BrE BrE//priˈemptɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//priˈemptɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1pre-empt something to prevent something from happening by taking action to stop it Her departure pre-empted any further questions. A good training course will pre-empt many problems. The government announced it had pre-empted a coup attempt.
  2. 2pre-empt somebody/something to do or say something before somebody else does She was just about to apologize when he pre-empted her. I do not want to pre-empt anything that the treasurer is going to say. It would be wrong for me to pre-empt any future decision the committee might make.
  3. 3pre-empt something (North American English) to replace a planned programme on the television The scheduled programme will be pre-empted by a special news bulletin.
  4. Word Origin mid 19th cent.: back-formation from pre-emption.