- 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 usurping
She herself possessed all, in usurping her one rich kingdom.Meadow Grass
But in accepting it I should be usurping an honour that rightly belongs elsewhere.Scaramouche
I went home to find the castle in usurping hands—in the hands of my enemies.The Tavern Knight
The Assembly were for usurping all authority, civil and military.A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I
President Pierce's administration recognized the usurping faction.The Negro and the Nation
George S. Merriam
- 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 usurping
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper