Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A purchase made by such a right.
  • noun Prior seizure of, appropriation of, or claim to something, such as property.
  • noun The action of preempting, as the use of military force in a preemptive attack.
  • noun Law The doctrine that federal law takes precedence over state law.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The purchase of something before it is offered for sale to others.
  • noun The purchase of public land by the occupant.
  • noun computing The temporary interruption of a task without its cooperation and with the intention of resuming it at a later time.
  • noun law The displacement of a lower jurisdiction's laws when they conflict with those of a higher jurisdiction.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[pre– + Latin ēmptiō, ēmptiōn-, buying (from ēmptus, past participle of emere, to buy; see em- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Medieval Latin praeēmptiō ("previous purchase"), from praeemō ("buy before"), from Latin prae- ("before") + emō ("buy").

Examples

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