Pronunciation: (prē-empt'),[key] —v.t. 1. to occupy (land) in order to establish a prior right to buy.
2. to acquire or appropriate before someone else; take for oneself; arrogate: a political issue preempted by the opposition party. 3. to take the place of because of priorities, reconsideration, rescheduling, etc.; supplant: The special newscast preempted the usual television program.
—v.i. 1. Bridge.to make a preemptive bid.
2. to forestall or prevent (something anticipated) by acting first; preclude; head off: an effort to preempt inflation.