Etymology
Advertisement

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.

updated on October 07, 2020

Advertisement