from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The right to purchase something before others, especially the right to purchase public land that is granted to one who has settled on that land.
- n. A purchase made by such a right.
- n. Prior seizure of, appropriation of, or claim to something, such as property.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The purchase of something before it is offered for sale to others.
- n. The purchase of public land by the occupant.
- n. The temporary interruption of a task without its cooperation and with the intention of resuming it at a later time.
- n. The displacement of a lower jurisdiction's laws when they conflict with those of a higher jurisdiction.
pre- + Latin ēmptiō, ēmptiōn-, buying (from ēmptus, past participle of Latin emere, to buy).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Medieval Latin praeēmptiō ("previous purchase"), from praeemō ("buy before"), from Latin prae- ("before") + emō ("buy"). (Wiktionary)