usurp

[yoo-surp, -zurp]

verb (used with object)

to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right: The pretender tried to usurp the throne.
to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully: The magazine usurped copyrighted material.

verb (used without object)

to commit forcible or illegal seizure of an office, power, etc.; encroach.

Nearby words

  1. usumacinta,
  2. usumbura,
  3. usurer,
  4. usurious,
  5. usuriously,
  6. usurpation,
  7. usurper,
  8. usury,
  9. usw,
  10. usward

Origin of usurp

1275–1325; Middle English < Latin ūsūrpāre to take possession through use, equivalent to ūsū (ablative of ūsus use (noun)) + -rp-, reduced form of -rip-, combining form of rapere to seize + -āre infinitive ending

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for usurp


British Dictionary definitions for usurp

usurp

verb

to seize, take over, or appropriate (land, a throne, etc) without authority
Derived Formsusurpation, nounusurpative or usurpatory, adjectiveusurper, noun

Word Origin for usurp

C14: from Old French usurper, from Latin ūsūrpāre to take into use, probably from ūsus use + rapere to seize

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for usurp

usurp

v.

early 14c., from Old French usurper, from Latin usurpare "make use of, seize for use," in Late Latin "to assume unlawfully," from usus "a use" (see use) + rapere "to seize" (see rapid). Related: Usurped; usurping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper