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From Old French usurper, from Latin ūsūrpāre.

Compare use and usury.


  • IPA(key): /juˈsɜɹp/
  • (file)
    Rhymes: -ɜː(r)p


usurp (third-person singular simple present usurps, present participle usurping, simple past and past participle usurped)

  1. To seize power from another, usually by illegitimate means.
  2. To use and assume the coat of arms of another person.
  3. (obsolete) To make use of.
    • 1662, Henry More, An Antidote Against Atheism, Appendix, A Collection of Several Philosophical Writings of Dr. Henry More, p. 149:
      " [] 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 [] "
  4. To take the place rightfully belonging to someone or something else.

Related terms[edit]