dethrone (dethrones, present participle dethroning; past and past participle dethroned)

  1. To depose; to forcibly relieve a monarch of the monarchy.
    Synonyms: depose, discrown, disenthrone, uncrown, unking, unsceptre, unthrone
    Antonyms: coronate, crown, enthrone, king
    • 1607, A Large Examination Taken at Lambeth […] of George Blackwell, London, p. 34,
      […] he (the said Pope) doth not onely claime to be spirituall head of all Christians, but also to haue an Imperiall Ciuill power ouer all Kings and Emperours, dethroning and decrowning princes with his foote, as pleaseth him […]
    • 1715, Alexander Pope (translator), The Iliad of Homer, London: Bernard Lintott, Book 1, lines 746-749, p. 35,
      Thou, Goddess-Mother, with our Sire comply,
      Nor break the sacred Union of the Sky:
      Lest, rouz’d to Rage, he shake the blest Abodes,
      Launch the red Lightning, and dethrone the Gods.
    • 1887, Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders, Chapter 10,
      Each card had a great stain in the middle of its back, produced by the touch of generations of damp and excited thumbs now fleshless in the grave; and the kings and queens wore a decayed expression of feature, as if they were rather an impecunious dethroned race of monarchs hiding in obscure slums than real regal characters.
    • 1923, Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (book), New York: Knopf, “On Freedom,” pp. 55-56,
      And if it is a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
  2. To remove any governing authority from power.
    Synonyms: bring down, depose, divest, overthrow
    Antonyms: empower, install, invest, take office
    • 1740, David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, London: John Noon, Volume 3, Part 2, Section 10, p. 183,
      Not only where the chief magistrate enters into measures, in themselves, extremely pernicious to the public, but even when he wou’d encroach on the other parts of the constitution, and extend his power beyond the legal bounds, it is allowable to resist and dethrone him;
    • 2005, Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin, Part 2, Chapter 19, p. 600,
      […] demands by Andrei Sakharov and others for further change—notably the dethroning of the increasingly discredited Party from its privileged position—could not be swept aside […]
  3. To remove from any position of high status or power.
    • 1753, Arthur Murphy (writer), The Gray’s Inn Journal, No. 23, 24 March, 1753, Volume 1, London: P. Vaillant, 1756, p. 168,
      […] we conclude, sincerely wishing, that you may continue to display your usual Graces of Elocution, and admirable Powers of Action, untill Harlequin shall dethrone the great Shakespear, or Pierot usurp the Seat of Johnson.
    • 1954, Peter De Vries, The Tunnel of Love, Boston: Little, Brown, Chapter 6, p. 53,
      “ […] I’m a dethroned elder child, remember. My temper isn’t so damned long as you sometimes think!”
    • 1988, Edmund White, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, New York: Ballantine, Chapter 1,p. 17,
      My socialist posturing was also a way of social climbing, since I always included my father among the capitalists I was determined to dethrone, whereas he was just a small entrepreneur.
  4. (figuratively) To remove (something) from a position of power or paramount importance.
    • 1672, John Dryden, The Conquest of Grenada, London: Henry Herringman, Act V, p. 140,
      All that was Good and Holy, is dethron’d,
      And Lust, and Rapine are for justice own’d.
    • 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, London: J. Johnson, Part 1, Chapter 2, pp. 50-51,
      To endeavour to reason love out of the world, would […] offend against common sense; but an endeavour to restrain this tumultuous passion, and to prove that it should not be allowed to dethrone superior powers, or to usurp the sceptre which the understanding should ever coolly wield, appears less wild.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case,”
      […] I not only recognised my natural body from the mere aura and effulgence of certain of the powers that made up my spirit, but managed to compound a drug by which these powers should be dethroned from their supremacy, and a second form and countenance substituted, none the less natural to me because they were the expression, and bore the stamp of lower elements in my soul.
    • 1972, Robertson Davies, The Manticore, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2015, Part 2, Chapter 2,
      So I am to dethrone my Intellect and set Emotion in its place. Is that it?
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