[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 usurpations

Historical Examples of usurpations

  • Your consent alone can give the least validity to these usurpations.

    Robert Toombs

    Pleasant A. Stovall

  • Such are some of the usurpations and aggressions of the Slave Power.

  • The usurpations and acts of the rebels were considered not legal acts, but nullities.

    The Galaxy


  • Their only crime was opposition to the “usurpations of the Papal Schism.”

    Milton's England

    Lucia Ames Mead

  • All usurpations, not born of war, have been caused and supported by labor.

    What is Property?

    P. J. Proudhon

Word Origin and History for usurpations



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper