Pronunciation: (prē-emp'tiv), [key]
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. Bridge.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. Also,pre-emp'tive.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.