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
Full Definition of usurp
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>
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>
: to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully
Examples of usurp
Some people have accused city council members of trying to usurp the mayor's power.
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
Rhymes with usurp
Seen and Heard
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