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usurp

[yoo-surp, -zurp] /yuˈsɜrp, -ˈzɜrp/
verb (used with object)
1.
to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right:
The pretender tried to usurp the throne.
2.
to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully:
The magazine usurped copyrighted material.
verb (used without object)
3.
to commit forcible or illegal seizure of an office, power, etc.; encroach.
Origin
1275-1325
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
Related forms
usurper, noun
usurpingly, adverb
nonusurping, adjective
nonusurpingly, adverb
self-usurp, verb (used without object)
unusurped, adjective
unusurping, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for usurp
  • Emma announced repeatedly that if reality began to usurp the ideal, she would ditch reality in less than a second.
  • With neither the euro nor the yuan yet ready to usurp it, the dollar will not quickly lose its reserve-currency status.
  • The two elements have such similar properties that arsenic can usurp the place of phosphorus in many chemical reactions.
  • Conversely, management should not usurp the director's role.
  • The emergency manager does not replace them or usurp their jobs.
  • Further, it would usurp the agency's function for us to set aside the agency's ruling on a ground not presented to it.
  • They feel that to do so would usurp the legislative committee structure.
British Dictionary definitions for usurp

usurp

/juːˈzɜːp/
verb
1.
to seize, take over, or appropriate (land, a throne, etc) without authority
Derived Forms
usurpation, noun
usurpative, usurpatory, adjective
usurper, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for usurp
v.

early 14c., from Old French usurper, from Latin usurpare "make use of, seize for use," in Late Latin "to assume unlawfully," from usus "a use" (see use) + rapere "to seize" (see rapid). Related: Usurped; usurping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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