From Middle English usurpen, from Old French usurper, from Latin ūsūrpō.
- (General American) IPA(key): /juˈsɝp/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /juːˈzɜːp/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)p
usurp (third-person singular simple present usurps, present participle usurping, simple past and past participle usurped)
- To seize power from another, usually by illegitimate means.
- 1667, John Milton, “Book X”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- [S]o he dies,
But soon revives, Death over him no power
Shall long usurp […]
- To use and assume the coat of arms of another person.
- To take the place rightfully belonging to someone or something else.
- c. 1619–1623, John Ford, “The Lavves of Candy”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: […] Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, →OCLC, Act I, scene ii, page 52, column 1:
- But if now / You ſhould (as cruell fathers do) proclame / Your right, and Tyrant like uſurp the glory / Of my peculiar honours, not deriv'd / From ſucceſſary, but purchas'd with my bloud, / Then I muſt ſtand firſt Champion for my ſelfe, / Againſt all interpoſers.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC:
- Jones answered all his questions with much civility, though he never remembered to have seen the petty-fogger before; and though he concluded, from the outward appearance and behaviour of the man, that he usurped a freedom with his betters, to which he was by no means intitled.
- (obsolete) To make use of.
- 1653, Henry More, “appendix”, in An Antidote against Atheisme, or An Appeal to the Natural Faculties of the Minde of Man, whether There Be Not a God, London: […] Roger Daniel, […], →OCLC:
- " […] especially considering that even Matter it self, in which they tumble and wallow, which they feel with their hands and usurp with all their Senses […] "