Words related to pre-emption


word-forming element meaning "before," from Old French pre- and Medieval Latin pre-, both from Latin prae (adverb and preposition) "before in time or place," from PIE *peri- (source also of Oscan prai, Umbrian pre, Sanskrit pare "thereupon," Greek parai "at," Gaulish are- "at, before," Lithuanian prie "at," Old Church Slavonic pri "at," Gothic faura, Old English fore "before"), extended form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "beyond, in front of, before."

The Latin word was active in forming verbs. Also see prae-. Sometimes in Middle English muddled with words in pro- or per-.

emption (n.)

late 15c., "purchase," from Latin emptionem (nominative emptio) "a buying, purchasing; thing bought," noun of action from emptus, past-participle of emere "to buy" (from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute").


Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to take, distribute." 

It forms all or part of: assume; consume; emption; example; exemplar; exemplary; exemplify; exempt; exemption; impromptu; peremptory; pre-emption; premium; presume; presumption; prompt; pronto; ransom; redeem; redemption; resume; sample; sejm; subsume; sumptuary; sumptuous; vintage.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues;" Latin emere "buy," originally "take," sumere "to take, obtain, buy;" Old Church Slavonic imo "to take;" Lithuanian imu, imti "to take."

For the sense shift from "take" to "buy" in the Latin verbs, compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it." 

pre-empt (v.)

also preempt, 1830, "secure (land, etc.) by pre-emption, occupy (public land) so as to establish a pre-emptive title to it," a back-formation from pre-emption or pre-emptive, originally American English. In the broadcasting sense of "set aside (a program) and replace it with another" it is attested from 1965, American English, a euphemism for "cancel." Related: pre-empted; preempted.

pre-emptive (adj.)

also preemptive, 1806, "pertaining to or of the nature of pre-emption;" from pre-emption + -ive. Specifically of an attack on an enemy who is plotting or has set in motion his own imminent attack, 1958, a term from the Cold War. Related: Pre-emptively; preemptively.

pre-emptory (adj.)
also preemptory, 1822, "relating to pre-emption," from pre-emption + -ory.