ar·​ro·​gate | \ ˈer-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce arrogate (audio) , ˈa-rə- \
arrogated; arrogating

Definition of arrogate

transitive verb

1a : to claim or seize without justification
b : to make undue claims to having : assume
2 : to claim on behalf of another : ascribe

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Other Words from arrogate

arrogation \ ˌer-​ə-​ˈgā-​shən How to pronounce arrogate (audio) , ˌa-​rə-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

Arrogate comes from the Latin arrogatus, a past participle of the verb "arrogare," which means "to appropriate to one's self." The Latin verb, in turn, was formed from the prefix ad- ("to" or "toward") and the verb "rogare" ("to ask"). You may have noticed that "arrogate" is similar to the more familiar "arrogant." And there is, in fact, a relationship between the two words. "Arrogant" comes from Latin arrogant-, arrogans, the present participle of "arrogare." "Arrogant" is often applied to that sense of superiority which comes from someone claiming (or arrogating) more consideration than is due to that person's position, dignity, or power.

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 Chinese Communist Party, bizarrely, arrogates to itself the right to approve his successor. The Economist, "The subdued fringe China’s successful repression in Tibet provides a model for Xinjiang," 11 Dec. 2019 The pattern is always the same: One branch arrogates to itself a power reserved to another. Sherif Girgis, National Review, "Neil Gorsuch’s Judicial Humility," 5 Dec. 2019 While Europa Clipper’s development has proceeded apace, however, the SLS rocket has remained mired in setbacks and was arrogated by the Artemis lunar program instigated by the Trump administration. Jillian Kramer, Scientific American, "NASA Has Committed to a Rocket for the Europa Mission—and It Won’t Be Ready on Time," 20 Aug. 2019 The rapid team collapse was head-spinning news not only in Australia but also among worldwide fans of cricket, a sport that arrogates to itself a particular moral sanctimony. Damien Cave And Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Cricket Hero Breaks Down in Tears on TV Over Cheating," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arrogate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arrogate

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for arrogate

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

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The first known use of arrogate was in 1537

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Cite this Entry

“Arrogate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of arrogate

formal : to take or claim (something, such as a right or a privilege) in a way that is not fair or legal

More from Merriam-Webster on arrogate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arrogate

Britannica English: Translation of arrogate for Arabic Speakers

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