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The question should be clear enough from the title.

Also: What are we supposed to call one who ousts? [If this warrants another question, I will edit this out and open another question.]

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This dictionary defines "ouster" as a person who "ousts" as well as the act of ousting –  Thursagen Jun 13 '11 at 0:26
    
This word is rarely used in the UK, except as legal terminology, so I have added the american-english tag. –  z7sg Ѫ Jun 13 '11 at 1:21
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A merger isn't generally a person who merges, and a prayer isn't generally a person who prays, either. –  Peter Shor Jun 13 '11 at 2:14
    
@Peter Shor: Good point. Perhaps if I had as much exposure to ouster as to your examples, it wouldn't sound as weird to me. –  John Y Jun 14 '11 at 0:23
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

An ouster (noun) is an ejection from an office or a position. Etymonline gives its derivation thus:

oust early 15c., from Anglo-Fr. oster (late 13c.), O.Fr. oster "put out, keep off, remove, avert" (Fr. ôter), from L. obstare "stand opposite to, block, hinder," from ob "against" + stare "to stand," from PIE base sta - "to stand" (see stet).

So the noun derives from the Anglo-French meaning, first and foremost in the sense of a "putting out" of someone, and it has come down to us as a handy synonym of "expulsion" or "impeachment" with the more general sense of relieving officials of their positions.

That said, ouster could be used in both senses: As someone who ousts someone else from a position, and the act of ousting that person. But the use in the former sense would be uncommon and not readily understood with no supporting context.

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I would have always said the ousting of a person as opposed to the ouster. Is it a British thing to find ouster used in this way?

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Welcome to EL&U! While we don't want to discourage participation, this site strives to be a place driven by questions and answers, rather than an open forum for commentary. What you've written here is clearly a comment, not an answer to the question at hand. Try asking some of your own questions or giving actual answers to other people's questions. The folks here tend to be pretty eager to reward sincere effort with upvotes, so you should find yourself with the requisite 50 rep to make comments before too long. –  John Y Aug 5 '13 at 22:01
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