Definition of preemption in English:


Syllabification: pre·emp·tion
Pronunciation: /prēˈempSHən


  • 1The purchase of goods or shares by one person or party before the opportunity is offered to others: the commission had the right of preemption
    More example sentences
    • Mrs. Clarke would prefer this to be a right of pre-emption and that if the Purchaser exercises its right completion will take place twenty eight days thereafter.
    • In pre-emption articles, it is usual to find, as here, a permitted class of transferee or a provision for transfer to a non-member in the event that no existing member is willing to purchase the shares.
    • I needed to sort out a way of creating pre-emption provisions and to retain control.
  • 1.1 historical , chiefly North American & Australian/New Zealand The right to purchase public land by preemption.
    More example sentences
    • The right of pre-emption or exclusive purchase in the same article was used by the Crown to lawfully extinguish Maori customary title and thereby allow alienation.
    • Increased land sales and pre-emption laws (which authorised settlers to stake claims on most surveyed lands) had facilitated rapid settlement of the Midwest and the Old Southwest.
    • The table below shows how, as the Crown's policy of pre-emption took effect, the burden of providing revenue fell upon Maori to finance the colony's development.
  • 2The action of preempting or forestalling, especially of making a preemptive attack: damaging retaliation for any attempt at preemption
    More example sentences
    • True, there may be a tolerance of pre-emption if an attack is imminent.
    • Patriots, of whatever social provenance, would never accept any action likely to damage prospects of victory, and might well attempt pre-emption if such an action were anticipated.
    • This is not retribution but pre-emption, finding appropriate force to prevent a further attack.
  • 2.1The interruption or replacement of a scheduled radio or television program.
    More example sentences
    • For the first quarter, we are estimating that the events resulted in approximately $2.2 million in advertiser cancellations and preemptions, many coming from the automotive sector.
    • Maybe some of the blame for the programme's poor ratings can be blamed on preemptions, and episodes airing out of order - but then why not put them in the proper order them for the DVD release?


early 17th century: from medieval Latin praeemptio(n-), from the verb praeemere, from prae 'in advance' + emere 'buy'.

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