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Definition of "usurp" [u•surp]

  • To seize and hold (the power or rights of another, for example) by force or without legal authority. See Synonyms at appropriate. (verb-transitive)
  • To take over or occupy without right: usurp a neighbor's land. (verb-transitive)
  • To take the place of (another) without legal authority; supplant. (verb-transitive)
  • To seize another's place, authority, or possession wrongfully. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "usurp" in a sentence
  • "But she used the magic word usurp, which is always big ..."
  • "I wondered who the skinny Black guy was trying to 'usurp' my candidate's position, then I heard him speak."
  • "At the weekly news conference in Moscow, a Russian foreign-ministry spokesman said neighboring countries were free to choose alliances and denied Moscow was attempting to "usurp" other nations 'international rights."