ar·​ro·​gate ˈer-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce arrogate (audio)
arrogated; arrogating

transitive verb

: to claim or seize without justification
: to make undue claims to having : assume
: to claim on behalf of another : ascribe
arrogation noun

Did you know?

The resemblance between arrogate and arrogant is more than coincidence: they both have the Latin verb arrogare, meaning “to appropriate to one's self,” at their root. This idea of claiming or seizing something as one’s right is immediately apparent in the English word arrogate: the word is used primarily to talk about taking or claiming a right or a privilege in a way that is not fair or legal. In arrogant the idea of appropriation is slightly veiled: by showing an offensive attitude of superiority, an arrogant person claims—that is, arrogates—more consideration than they are due.

Examples of arrogate in a Sentence

They've arrogated to themselves the power to change the rules arbitrarily. She arrogated the leadership role to herself.
Recent Examples on the Web The institution of the caliphate, now arrogated to themselves by the Umayyads, was thus transformed into arbitrary hereditary rule. Mohammed Ayoob, Foreign Affairs, 3 Apr. 2016 So why is his agency now arrogating to itself vast new regulatory power? The Editorial Board, WSJ, 11 Oct. 2023 And likewise, far from creating a decentralized, democratized currency and economy, the crypto world arrogated much of its wealth and influence to just a few firms and figures. Jacob Bacharach, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2023 Roe and [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey arrogated that authority. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 Aug. 2023 This is a Court that boldly arrogates power to itself. Olatunde Johnson, Time, 29 June 2023 Since promulgating the Monroe Doctrine two centuries ago, the United States has explicitly arrogated to itself a sphere of influence extending from the Canadian Arctic to Tierra del Fuego. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 3 May 2023 Of course, much bigger than Khan arrogating to herself the power to void contracts is her belief that government entities (including her FTC) must stand in the way of successful businesses expanding via acquisition. John Tamny, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2023 But who, aside from the advertising executives at OkCupid, would want to arrogate to themselves this sort of authority, cataloging novel ethical codes of romance? Zoë Hu, The Atlantic, 23 Mar. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'arrogate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin arrogātus, past participle of arrogāre "to appoint along with (another magistrate), lay claim to, claim to possess, make undue claims, be conceited," from ar-, assimilated form of ad- ad- + rogāre "to ask, request" — more at rogation

First Known Use

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of arrogate was in 1537


Dictionary Entries Near arrogate

Cite this Entry

“Arrogate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ar·​ro·​gate ˈar-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce arrogate (audio)
arrogated; arrogating
: to take or claim for one's own without right
: to attribute to another especially without good reason
arrogation noun

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