9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[yoo-surp, -zurp] /yuˈsɜrp, -ˈzɜrp/
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
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
Related forms
usurper, noun
usurpingly, adverb
nonusurping, adjective
nonusurpingly, adverb
self-usurp, verb (used without object)
unusurped, adjective
unusurping, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for usurped
  • File sharing has been usurped by legitimate video services.
  • Without many noticing it, though, he is in danger of being usurped by his younger brother.
  • Ambitions in entertainment and sports have usurped the prestige that educational goals once held.
  • The military had abruptly usurped the council's powers two weeks ago, raising fears that.
  • It must have been all that eludes us, hidden behind a veil so as not to be stolen, usurped and trivialized.
  • The distressed look has usurped the slick new look-out of choice, not necessity.
  • He had usurped the throne a few years earlier and he thought everyone else was after the throne too.
  • Your desire to publish seems to have usurped your mission as a first rate news organization.
  • As former leading world powers the idea that they had been usurped was difficult for many to accept.
  • But they were not of a harsh race that had usurped the home of gentler beings perished through gentleness.
British Dictionary definitions for usurped


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for usurped



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for usurp

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for usurped

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with usurped

Nearby words for usurped