ousted; ousting; ousts

transitive verb

: to remove from or dispossess of property or position by legal action, by force, or by the compulsion of necessity
The rebels ousted the dictator from power.
: to take away (something, such as a right or authority) : bar, remove
The states do not like attempts by Congress to oust their jurisdiction.
: to take the place of : supplant
must be careful that quantity does not oust qualityR. V. Williams
Choose the Right Synonym for oust

eject, expel, oust, evict mean to drive or force out.

eject carries an especially strong implication of throwing or thrusting out from within as a physical action.

ejected an obnoxious patron from the bar

expel stresses a thrusting out or driving away especially permanently which need not be physical.

a student expelled from college

oust implies removal or dispossession by power of the law or by force or compulsion.

police ousted the squatters

evict chiefly applies to turning out of house and home.

evicted for nonpayment of rent

Examples of oust in a Sentence

The rebels ousted the dictator from power. Large national banks are ousting local banks in many communities.
Recent Examples on the Web And now that Lachlan holds the keys to the kingdom, James is biding his time to oust his brother with the help of their sisters, Elisabeth and Prudence, once their father is gone, sources told Vanity Fair. Bypaige Hagy, Fortune, 22 Sep. 2023 Both retired earlier than expected amid constant threats of being ousted. CBS News, 19 Sep. 2023 Weeks earlier, Foreign Minister Qin Gang was dramatically ousted after vanishing from public view for a month. Nectar Gan, CNN, 19 Sep. 2023 Lurching from one crisis to another May 26, 2019 In 2014, Derna was taken over by Islamic State militants who were ousted by other Islamist factions. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Colonel el-Qaddafi was ousted from Tripoli that August. James Glanz, New York Times, 16 Sep. 2023 But, by Thursday, having failed entirely to placate his tormentors, McCarthy was reduced to throwing F-bombs at them, daring them to follow through on their threats to file a motion to oust him. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 14 Sep. 2023 His defense attorneys have even suggested a Republican plot to oust him. Jim Vertuno, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Sep. 2023 Angry, frustrated and unable to lead a fractured and unruly Republican majority, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday told the colleagues threatening to oust him: Do it. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 15 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French oster, ouster to take off, remove, oust, from Late Latin obstare to ward off, from Latin, to stand in the way, from ob- in the way + stare to stand — more at ob-, stand

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of oust was in the 15th century

Cite this Entry

“Oust.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oust. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to force or drive out (as from office or from possession of something)

More from Merriam-Webster on oust

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