usurp

verb
\ yu̇-ˈsərp How to pronounce usurp (audio) also -ˈzərp How to pronounce usurp (audio) \
usurped; usurping; usurps

Definition of usurp

transitive verb

1a : to seize and hold (office, place, functions, powers, etc.) 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

intransitive verb

: to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully

Other Words from usurp

usurpation \ ˌyü-​sər-​ˈpā-​shən How to pronounce usurp (audio) also  ˌyü-​zər-​ \ noun

Did you know?

Usurp was borrowed into English in the 14th century from the Anglo-French word usorper, which in turn derives from the Latin verb usurpare, meaning "to take possession of without a legal claim." Usurpare itself was formed by combining usu (a form of usus, meaning "use") and rapere ("to seize"). Other descendants of rapere in English include rapacious ("given to seizing or extorting what is coveted"), rapine ("the seizing and carrying away of things by force"), rapt (the earliest sense of which is "lifted up and carried away"), and ravish (one meaning of which is "to seize and take away by violence").

Examples of usurp in a Sentence

Some people have accused city council members of trying to usurp the mayor's power. attempting to usurp the throne
Recent Examples on the Web Yet, Fellowes manages to navigate ‘Downton Abbey’ to charm both reactionaries and revolutionaries, finagling a sequence that allows the staff to usurp the formal dining room while the rich serve themselves at a buffet. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2022 Whether your mom is hiking, climbing, or enjoying spring and summer sports, this is clothing item to usurp all others. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Her mask ruling also seems to usurp public health guidance while failing to understand science or the English language. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 19 Apr. 2022 However, it can also be used to usurp turning off read receipts. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 19 Apr. 2022 In this climate of fake news, the topic of deception is to usurp the integrity of elections by stating irregularities in the voting process. Rayna Reid, Essence, 13 Apr. 2022 The traditional argument has been that as these rival economies grow larger than the US, their financial gravity will lead them to gradually usurp the role of the American financial system. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2022 Fortunately for Yakei, no other macaques attempted to usurp her throne this season and the queen remained the troop’s alpha at the end of March, according to reserve officials. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 On April 1, 2021, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed New York’s case, and reprimanded the City for trying to usurp a federal function. Daniel Markind, Forbes, 25 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of usurp

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for usurp

Middle English, from Anglo-French usorper, from Latin usurpare to take possession of without legal claim, from usu (ablative of usus use) + rapere to seize — more at rapid

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The first known use of usurp was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near usurp

usurous

usurp

usurpative

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Last Updated

2 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Usurp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/usurp. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for usurp

usurp

verb
\ yu̇-ˈsərp How to pronounce usurp (audio) , -ˈzərp \
usurped; usurping

Kids Definition of usurp

: to take and hold unfairly or by force The traitors usurp power from the king.

Other Words from usurp

usurper noun

usurp

verb
\ yu̇-ˈsərp, -ˈzərp How to pronounce usurp (audio) \

Legal Definition of usurp

transitive verb

: to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right the courts may not usurp the powers of the legislature

intransitive verb

: to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully

Other Words from usurp

usurpation \ ˌyü-​sər-​ˈpā-​shən, -​zər-​ How to pronounce usurp (audio) \ noun
usurper \ yu̇-​ˈsər-​pər, -​ˈzər-​ How to pronounce usurp (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for usurp

Latin usurpare to take possession of without a strict legal claim, from usus use + rapere to seize

More from Merriam-Webster on usurp

Nglish: Translation of usurp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of usurp for Arabic Speakers

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