usurp

[ yoo-surp, -zurp ]
/ yuˈsɜrp, -ˈzɜrp /

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.

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

/ (juːˈzɜːp) /

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