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Word of the Week: Usurp

Posted on 11 July 2014 by CliffsNotes


Photo: ©John Langford/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

Word: USURP (v)

Meaning: to seize and hold by force or without legal authority OR to take over and occupy without right

Synonyms: seize, assume, take, commandeer

1. In Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow usurps the navy ship HMS Dauntless to escape Port Royal.

2. I will usurp your seat on the couch if you don’t call “fives” when you get up.

3. In Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen considers whomever is sitting on the Iron Throne (i.e. Robert Baratheon, Joffrey Baratheon) an usurper.



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