usurp [yoo-surp, -zurp] ExamplesWord Origin verb (used with object)

  1. to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right: The pretender tried to usurp the throne.
  2. to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully: The magazine usurped copyrighted material.

verb (used without object)

  1. to commit forcible or illegal seizure of an office, power, etc.; encroach.

Origin of usurp 1275–1325; Middle English Latin ūsūrpāre to take possession through use, equivalent to ūsū (ablative of ūsus use (noun)) + -rp-, reduced form of -rip-, combining form of rapere to seize + -āre infinitive endingRelated formsu·surp·er, nounu·surp·ing·ly, adverbnon·u·surp·ing, adjectivenon·u·surp·ing·ly, adverbself-u·surp, verb (used without object)un·u·surped, adjectiveun·u·surp·ing, adjective Related Words for usurping wrest, preempt, supplant, annex, commandeer, seize, assume, arrogate, swipe, displace, appropriate, take, grab, highjack, accroach Examples from the Web for usurping Historical Examples of usurping

  • She herself possessed all, in usurping her one rich kingdom.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • But in accepting it I should be usurping an honour that rightly belongs elsewhere.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • I went home to find the castle in usurping hands—in the hands of my enemies.

    The Tavern Knight

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The Assembly were for usurping all authority, civil and military.

    A Half Century of Conflict – Volume I

    Francis Parkman

  • President Pierce’s administration recognized the usurping faction.

    The Negro and the Nation

    George S. Merriam

  • British Dictionary definitions for usurping usurp verb

    1. to seize, take over, or appropriate (land, a throne, etc) without authority

    Derived Formsusurpation, nounusurpative or usurpatory, adjectiveusurper, nounWord Origin for usurp C14: from Old French usurper, from Latin ūsūrpāre to take into use, probably from ūsus use + rapere to seize Word Origin and History for usurping usurp v.

    early 14c., from Old French usurper, from Latin usurpare “make use of, seize for use,” in Late Latin “to assume unlawfully,” from usus “a use” (see use) + rapere “to seize” (see rapid). Related: Usurped; usurping.

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