- 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for usurper
Branded a usurper, Bruce had been excommunicated by the Vatican.Queen Victoria’s Secret Scottish Sex Castle
August 17, 2014
Or because he supported the deposed King Richard II rather than the usurper Henry Bolingbroke?Five Little-Known But History-Changing Medieval Crime Stories
March 11, 2014
This emboldened him to add “the usurper that is in the White House … B. Hussein Obama” to the list said in his church on Sundays.Praying for Obama's Death
February 14, 2010
He has been offering “imprecatory prayers” against “the usurper that is in the White House…B. Hussein Obama.”The Obama Haters' Next Move
July 20, 2009
Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.
He instances Archelaus, son of Perdiccas, the usurper of Macedonia.Gorgias
The usurper Amusis is dead and the whole land has risen against you.The Cat of Bubastes
G. A. Henty
They'll fight to the death, and every one of them is good for' at least three of the usurper Lincoln's minions.Si Klegg, Book 5 (of 6)
I don't want to be deemed a usurper, but a legitimate monarch.The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly
Charles James Lever
- to seize, take over, or appropriate (land, a throne, etc) without authority
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 usurper
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper