Definition of pre-emptive in English:



  • 1Serving or intended to pre-empt or forestall something, especially to prevent attack by disabling the enemy.

    ‘a pre-emptive strike’
    • ‘They essentially amounted to a crude pre-emptive strike designed to forestall any leadership challenge and the natural targets were those with whom he has crossed swords in the past.’
    • ‘His speech was a pre-emptive strike designed to prevent opponents from exploiting the war issue.’
    • ‘‘We see it as a non-violent, pre-emptive strike to protect the constitution,’ he said when we spoke last week.’
    • ‘Luckily, I've anticipated and manage a pre-emptive strike while he's still taking in the last statement.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, credit card companies have been taking pre-emptive action for some time, which should go some way towards addressing the problem.’
    • ‘Evidence is accumulating that questions the value of pre-emptive interventions in other fields of medicine, such as breast cancer.’
    • ‘Some local residents advocate pre-emptive privatization of degraded communal lands to protect these areas from municipal encroachment.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, if the latest Labour Court initiative fails, the government will take pre-emptive and decisive action against the strikers.’
    preventive, preventative, precautionary, protective, disease-preventing, pre-emptive, counteractive, preclusive, anticipatory, inhibitory, deterrent
    1. 1.1Relating to the purchase of goods or shares by one person or party before the opportunity is offered to others.
      ‘pre-emptive rights’
      • ‘If the senior executive wishes to leave the organisation in the future, it is usual for the remaining shareholders to have a pre-emptive right to reacquire the shares of the outgoing executive.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, revenues from pre-emptive purchases of Maori land were the mainstay of the Crown government's budget.’
      • ‘The Council has a pre-emptive right to purchase the building back at its sale price and value of improvements, should the Legislature wish to sell.’
      • ‘The channel is owned equally by four companies and each has pre-emptive rights over the shares, which give them priority in the event of a sale.’
      • ‘The auction of Odeon was sparked in June after one property investor failed to get other shareholders to accept his pre-emptive offer of 360 million pounds.’
      • ‘One partner already has pre-emptive rights to buy the company's stake.’
      • ‘Walt Disney, one of the four equal shareholders with pre-emptive rights alongside Carlton and Granada, may well pick up the holding.’
      • ‘They took the opportunity of their own settlement to obtain that pre-emptive right, and I have no problem with that - indeed, I congratulate them.’
      • ‘Companies incorporated under this legislation have the option of including pre-emptive rights in their articles if they so choose.’
      • ‘However, the report which recommended that the council waive its pre-emptive right on the land was only submitted to Mkani's standing committee on January 20, 1999.’
      • ‘‘He likes to make pre-emptive offers’ said one longtime agent used to doing business with Lacroix.’
    2. 1.2Bridge Denoting a bid, typically an opening bid, intended to be so high that it prevents or interferes with effective bidding by the opponents.