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usurp

play
verb \yu̇-ˈsərp also -ˈzərp\

Simple Definition of usurp

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of usurp

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 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>

  3. 2 :  to take the place of by or as if by force :  supplant <must not let stock responses based on inherited prejudice usurp careful judgment>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully

usurpation play \ˌyü-sər-ˈpā-shən also ˌyü-zər-\ noun
usurper play \yu̇-ˈsər-pər also -ˈzər-\ noun

Examples of usurp in a sentence

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

  2. attempting to usurp the throne



Did You Know?

Usurp was borrowed into English in the 14th century from the Anglo-French word usorper, which in turn derives from the Latin verb usurpare, meaning "to take possession of without a legal claim." Usurpare itself was formed by combining usu (a form of usus, meaning "use") and rapere ("to seize"). Other descendants of rapere in English include rapacious ("given to seizing or extorting what is coveted"), rapine ("the seizing and carrying away of things by force"), rapt (the earliest sense of which is "lifted up and carried away"), and ravish ("to seize and take away by violence").

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

Rhymes with usurp


USURP Defined for Kids

usurp

play
verb \yu̇-ˈsərp, -ˈzərp\

Definition of usurp for Students

usurpedusurping

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

usurper noun



Law Dictionary

usurp

play
verb \yu̇-ˈsərp, -ˈzərp\

Legal Definition of usurp

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right <the courts may not usurp the powers of the legislature>
  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully

usurpation \ˌyü-sər-ˈpā-shən, -zər-\ play noun
usurper \yu̇-ˈsər-pər, -ˈzər-\ play noun


Origin of usurp

Latin usurpare to take possession of without a strict legal claim, from usus use + rapere to seize



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