[yoo-ser-pey-shuh n, -zer-]


an act of usurping; wrongful or illegal encroachment, infringement, or seizure.
illegal seizure and occupation of a throne.

Origin of usurpation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin ūsūrpātiōn- (stem of ūsūrpātiō), equivalent to ūsūrpāt(us) (past participle of ūsūrpāre to usurp) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsu·sur·pa·tive [yoo-sur-puh-tiv, ‐zur‐] /yuˈsɜr pə tɪv, ‐ˈzɜr‐/, u·sur·pa·to·ry [yoo-sur-puh-tawr-ee, ‐tohr-ee, ‐zur‐] /yuˈsɜr pəˌtɔr i, ‐ˌtoʊr i, ‐ˈzɜr‐/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for usurpation

Contemporary Examples of usurpation

  • Russians had no choice but face his final decision; his usurpation of political power is sickly humiliating.

    The Daily Beast logo
    To the Streets!

    Anna Nemtsova

    September 26, 2011

  • All government action is not a usurpation of individual freedom—it's a matter of striking the right balance.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The GOP's War on Teddy Roosevelt

    John Avlon

    March 9, 2010

Historical Examples of usurpation

Word Origin and History for usurpation

late 14c., from Old French usurpacion, from Latin usurpationem (nominative usurpatio), noun of action from usurpare (see usurp).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper