- A mode of multitasking in which the foreground task allows background tasks access to the CPU at given times, such as when it is idle. Since the program in the foreground controls access to the CPU, it may monopolize its resources. This contrasts with preemptive multitasking, in which all tasks take turns at having the attention of the CPU. Also spelled nonpreemptive multi-tasking. Also called cooperative multitasking.