U`sur*pa"tion (?), n. [L. usurpatio making use, usurpation: cf. F. usurpation.]


The act of usurping, or of seizing and enjoying; an authorized, arbitrary assumption and exercise of power, especially an infringing on the rights of others; specifically, the illegal seizure of sovereign power; -- commonly used with of, also used with on or upon; as, the usurpation of a throne; the usurpation of the supreme power.

He contrived their destruction, with the usurpation of the regal dignity upon him. Sir T. More.

A law [of a State] which is a usurpation upon the general government. O. Ellsworth.

Manifest usurpation on the rights of other States. D. Webster.

Usurpation, in a peculiar sense, formerly denoted the absolute ouster and dispossession of the patron of a church, by a stranger presenting a clerk to a vacant benefice, who us thereupon admitted and instituted.


Use; usage; custom.


Bp. Pearson.


© Webster 1913.

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