To arrogate is to take over. When the teacher steps out of the classroom and some bossy student marches up to the front of the class and begins scolding the other kids? The student is trying to arrogate the teacher's authority.

When someone takes control of something, often without permission, such as when a military general assumes the power of a country's government after getting rid of the previous leader, they arrogate power or control to themselves. Occasionally the verb arrogate means something like "assert one's right to," or take something that is deserved, but more often it implies a taking by force.

Definitions of arrogate
  1. verb
    seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession
    synonyms: assume, seize, take over, usurp
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    take (territory) as if by conquest
    appropriate, capture, conquer, seize
    take possession of by force, as after an invasion
    occupy or take possession of beforehand or before another or appropriate for use in advance
    seize control of
    take over (a company) by buying a controlling interest of its stock
    capture after a fight
    colonise, colonize
    settle as a colony; of countries in the developing world
    type of:
    take by force
  2. verb
    demand as being one's due or property; assert one's right or title to
    synonyms: claim, lay claim
    claim, take
    lay claim to; as of an idea
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    forego, forfeit, forgo, give up, throw overboard, waive
    lose ( or lose the right to ( by some error, offense, or crime
    put forward a claim and assert right or possession of
    demand and take for use or service, especially by military or public authority for public service
    make undue claims to having
    type of:
    bespeak, call for, quest, request
    express the need or desire for; ask for
  3. verb
    make undue claims to having
    synonyms: assign
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    type of:
    claim, lay claim
    demand as being one's due or property; assert one's right or title to
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