verb \y-ˈsərp also -ˈzərp\

: to take and keep (something, such as power) in a forceful or violent way and especially without the right to do so

Full Definition of USURP

transitive verb
a :  to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right <usurp a throne>
b :  to take or make use of without right <usurped the rights to her life story>
:  to take the place of by or as if by force :  supplant <must not let stock responses based on inherited prejudice usurp careful judgment>
intransitive verb
:  to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully
usur·pa·tion \ˌyü-sər-ˈpā-shən also ˌyü-zər-\ noun
usurp·er \y-ˈsər-pər also -ˈzər-\ noun

Examples of USURP

  1. Some people have accused city council members of trying to usurp the mayor's power.
  2. attempting to usurp the throne

Origin of USURP

Middle English, from Anglo-French usorper, from Latin usurpare to take possession of without legal claim, from usu (abl. of usus use) + rapere to seize — more at rapid
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with USURP

USURP Defined for Kids


verb \y-ˈsərp, -ˈzərp\

Definition of USURP for Kids

:  to take and hold unfairly or by force <The traitors usurp power from the king.>
usurp·er noun


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