Dictionary.com

usurp

[ yoo-surp, -zurp ]
/ yuˈsɜrp, -ˈzɜrp /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: usurp / usurped / usurper on Thesaurus.com

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.
QUIZ
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

Origin of usurp

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Latin ūsūrpāre “to take possession through use,” equivalent to ūsū (ablative of ūsus “act of using, employment” (see use) + -rp-, reduced form of -rip-, combining form of rapere “to seize” + -āre infinitive ending

OTHER WORDS FROM usurp

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use usurp in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for usurp

usurp
/ (juːˈzɜːp) /

verb
to seize, take over, or appropriate (land, a throne, etc) without authority

Derived forms of usurp

usurpation, 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
FEEDBACK