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English definition of “pre-empt”

pre-empt

verb [T] uk   /ˌpriːˈempt/ us  
to do or say something before someone so that you make their words or actions unnecessary or not effective: The minister held a press conference in order to pre-empt criticism in the newspapers. US to replace one television programme with another, usually more important one: All the networks pre-empted their regular schedules to broadcast news of the hijacking.
(Definition of pre-empt from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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