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Wordnet 3.0

VERB (2)

1. seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession;
- Example: "He assumed to himself the right to fill all positions in the town"
- Example: "he usurped my rights"
- Example: "She seized control of the throne after her husband died"
[syn: assume, usurp, seize, take over, arrogate]

2. take the place of;
- Example: "gloom had usurped mirth at the party after the news of the terrorist act broke"


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Usurp \U*surp"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Usurped; p. pr. & vb. n. Usurping.] [L. usurpare, usurpatum, to make use of, enjoy, get possession of, usurp; the first part of usurpare is akin to usus use (see Use, n.): cf. F. usurper.] To seize, and hold in possession, by force, or without right; as, to usurp a throne; to usurp the prerogatives of the crown; to usurp power; to usurp the right of a patron is to oust or dispossess him. [1913 Webster] Alack, thou dost usurp authority. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Another revolution, to get rid of this illegitimate and usurped government, would of course be perfectly justifiable. --Burke. [1913 Webster] Note: Usurp is applied to seizure and use of office, functions, powers, rights, etc.; it is not applied to common dispossession of private property. [1913 Webster] Syn: To arrogate; assume; appropriate. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Usurp \U*surp"\, v. i. To commit forcible seizure of place, power, functions, or the like, without right; to commit unjust encroachments; to be, or act as, a usurper. [1913 Webster] The parish churches on which the Presbyterians and fanatics had usurped. --Evelyn. [1913 Webster] And now the Spirits of the Mind Are busy with poor Peter Bell; Upon the rights of visual sense Usurping, with a prevalence More terrible than magic spell. --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

usurp v 1: seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession; "He assumed to himself the right to fill all positions in the town"; "he usurped my rights"; "She seized control of the throne after her husband died" [syn: assume, usurp, seize, take over, arrogate] 2: take the place of; "gloom had usurped mirth at the party after the news of the terrorist act broke"
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

56 Moby Thesaurus words for "usurp": accroach, adopt, advance upon, appropriate, arrogate, assume, assume command, break bounds, colonize, commandeer, conquer, cut out, displace, encroach, enslave, go too far, hog, indent, infringe, intrude, invade, irrupt, jump a claim, know no bounds, make an inroad, make free with, make use of, monopolize, mount the throne, occupy, overrun, overstep, overstep the bounds, play God, preempt, preoccupy, prepossess, pretend to, requisition, seize, seize power, seize the throne, sit on, squat on, subjugate, take all of, take charge, take command, take it all, take over, take possession of, take the helm, take the lead, take up, transgress, trespass