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

Other Words from arrogate

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

Did you know?

Arrogate comes from 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- or 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, 11 Dec. 2019 The pattern is always the same: One branch arrogates to itself a power reserved to another. Sherif Girgis, National Review, 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, 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, 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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Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arrogate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of arrogate

: 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

Britannica English: Translation of arrogate for Arabic Speakers


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