Meaning of preemptive

pre•emp•tive

Pronunciation: (prē-emp'tiv), [key]
— adj.
  1. of or pertaining to preemption.
  2. taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent: a preemptive tactic against a ruthless business rival.
  3. preempting or possessing the power to preempt; appropriative; privileged: a commander's preemptive authority.
  4. pertaining to, involving, or noting an opening bid or an overcall in a suit that is at an unnecessarily high level and that is essentially a defensive maneuver designed to make communication between one's opponents more difficult: a preemptive bid; to give a preemptive response.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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