Etymology
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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.

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Definitions of pre-emptive

pre-emptive (adj.)
designed or having the power to deter or prevent an anticipated situation or occurrence;
Synonyms: preemptive
From wordnet.princeton.edu