When you force someone in authority out of office — a politician, a king, or a cheerleading captain — you depose them.

The word almost always associated with an act of deposition is coup, meaning a sudden act of overthrowing of the government. Sometimes bloodless, more often not. On a less dramatic scale, lawyers depose less exalted folk every day; it means they take evidence from them under oath, possibly to be used in a court case later. Often those giving evidence (mobsters, murderers, financial scammers, etc,) are unwilling to talk to lawyers, hence the suggestion of a stripping away of power and dignity implicit in the term depose.

Definitions of depose
  1. verb
    force to leave (an office)
    synonyms: force out
    see moresee less
    bring down, overthrow, overturn, subvert, topple
    cause the downfall of; of rulers
    overthrow by a revolution, of governments
    type of:
    boot out, drum out, expel, kick out, oust, throw out
    remove from a position or office
  2. verb
    make a deposition; declare under oath
    synonyms: depone, swear
    see moresee less
    type of:
    state emphatically and authoritatively
Word Family

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