Definition of pre-empt in English:
- Often the coup is undertaken to pre-empt revolutionary change from below and impose a measure of reform from above.
- But on this occasion police pre-empted the event and warned drivers to keep away.
- First, it is clear the authorities did little or nothing to pre-empt the events of last year.
- He was pre-empted by a question from the audience seeking an explanation as to why the former democratically-elected team had been sacked.
- But as we were leaving I spotted that our Sales guy had something to add so I quickly pre-empted him.
- We would like to resolve this amicably but we were pre-empted.
- Community groups are right to complain about the Ontario Municipal Board and the way it pre-empts the land-use decisions of municipal councils while destroying the relative permanence of Official Plans.
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mid 19th century: back-formation from pre-emption.
It you pre-empt someone, you get there first. The original Latin came from prae ‘in advance’ and emere ‘buy’. Pre-emption (early 17th century) was the earliest form of the word, pre-empt being formed from it. The same root lies behind premium (early 17th century).
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