Word of the Day : March 7, 2012


verb AIR-uh-gayt


1 a : to claim or seize without justification

b : to make undue claims to having : assume

2 : to claim on behalf of another : ascribe

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.


The city council has accused the mayor of arrogating decision-making authority to himself that rightly belongs with the council.

"Iranian political analysts said Mr. Ahmadinejad, unlike his predecessors, has made enemies of many Iranian religious figures by aggressively arrogating more power to his office than they would like." - From an article by Rick Gladstone in The New York Times, November 23, 2011

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "arrogate" can mean "to disparage"? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!