Definition of usurp in English:


Syllabification: u·surp
Pronunciation: /yo͞oˈsərp


[with object]
1Take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force: Richard usurped the throne
More example sentences
  • Government should create and sustain the conditions in which parents can fulfill their duties to their children, but it must not usurp their position.
  • This is not the place to detail the history of the wars and battles that occurred as the settlers usurped the ancient territories of the indigenes.
  • Although part of the agreement was the rehabilitation of settlers who had usurped tribal land, there is nowhere else for them to go.
1.1Take the place of (someone in a position of power) illegally: supplant: the Hanoverian dynasty had usurped the Stuarts
More example sentences
  • Move over Blocker, you've been usurped, dethroned and pretty-much dumped as Rugby League's loosest lip.
  • The ruler belonged to Rai dynasty, a Shudra king, who was usurped by a Brahmin named Chach.
  • His father's second wife was first in line to the usurped Ming dynasty.
1.2 [no object] (usurp on/upon) archaic Encroach or infringe upon (someone’s rights): the Church had usurped upon the domain of the state
More example sentences
  • By transmitting the virus willingly one is usurping on others’ rights to life and happiness.
  • He that doth usurp upon it, the Law doth intend that he hath purposed the destruction of the Prince.
  • Eve, Prometheus, Pandora, and Frankenstein all try to usurp upon divine authority and all suffer the consequences.


Middle English (in the sense 'appropriate (a right) wrongfully'): from Old French usurper, from Latin usurpare 'seize for use'.



Pronunciation: /ˌyo͞osərˈpāSHən/
More example sentences
  • I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
  • The Government, on behalf of the people, will not tolerate the usurpation of the functions of any of the institutions of the State by any individual or group.
  • This is another massive usurpation of local control of public schools, draped in the faux fabric of federal accountability.


More example sentences
  • Isn't the person to whom ownership has been transferred deserving of the full protection that the government grants to owners of property against other sorts of usurpers?
  • He could choose to fight the usurpers or negotiate with them, implicitly rewarding their choice of violence to pursue their political goals.
  • The justices were denounced as usurpers of a power that rightly belonged to the elected representatives of the people.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
turned backwards