How would you call an action (or event) that occurs earlier than originally planned, in reaction to some condition or other event happening?


  • When you put a pan on a stove with a timer, but turn the heat off before the timer rings, because the water boiled earlier.
  • When a ticket website has tickets available till next Sunday, but sales close automatically on Friday due to all tickets being sold out.
  • When you buy Bitcoin at 400 USD exchange rate, and have it automatically sold it when it dropped to 350 USD.

Sample of use:

  • I would have watched the whole episode but my access was ceased due to THAT_WORD_NOUN and I couldn't anymore.
  • She tried to bid that item higher, but someone THAT_WORD_VERB'ed the auction and it was over.

The words that I found that I think you could sometimes use in such cases are 'short circuit' or 'trip wire', although these are usually used with particular context, not broadly (eg. you don't 'trip wire an auction'). Thesaurus doesn't help with either of these.

I'm wondering if there is another word that more precisely describes such action / event. The word doesn't have a negative or positive connotation. Bonus points if it's a single word, not compound word / phrase.

  • 2
    It was triggered prematurely. Commented Nov 28, 2019 at 15:35
  • 1
    It was cut short. The sale was cut short. The auction was cut short. The time was cut short. Some of your examples are fundamentally different though and cannot be covered by a single verb.
    – Jim
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 5:40
  • Thanks for suggestions, both also correct in some cases. I went with Preempt as suggested by stevesilva seeing it's a single word.
    – Voy
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


Some of the bullet points lead here:

forestall - to prevent something from happening by acting first

But the noun/verb usage cases might be better fits for preemption/preempted:

preempt - to prevent from happening or taking place

  • Just to clarify - Forestall is only a verb, Preempt is both a verb and a noun. Went with Preempt. Thank you!
    – Voy
    Commented Nov 29, 2019 at 11:11
  • @voy Preempt is not a noun at all; I don't know where you got that idea. Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 10:09
  • I've found a number of sources that claim so Jason. Please support your contradiction with some facts and sources, so that we could learn if it really isn't a noun
    – Voy
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 17:02

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