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The verb I seek is defined as: to claim a position above something, to position oneself higher than something or someone.

The important aspect is the claim of superiority over something, without necessarily being superior.

For instance: When the mind answers all the whys about God, it {situates itself in a position higher than} God.

Any ideas?

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    I'm not sure your quote - "When the mind gets answers, it ___ the known." - is helping here. It doesn't appear to relate to the previous line at all. – Rory Alsop Mar 4 '12 at 0:07
  • "When the mind gets answers, it situates itself above the known". Is there a better way to say this? – Shivadas Mar 4 '12 at 0:09
  • "The fact I won in every category allowed me to _______ him." (Because I won, I took the position of being above him.) – Shivadas Mar 4 '12 at 0:20
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    Is the important aspect the -claim- of superiority or the process of becoming superior? – Mitch Mar 4 '12 at 20:30
  • @Mitch - thank you for this very important comment, which allows me to clarify my question. The important aspect is the claim of superiority, without necessarily being superior. That is why most of the suggestions here do not fit. For instance: When the mind answers all the whys about God, it {situates itself in a position higher than} God. – Shivadas Mar 4 '12 at 23:01

11 Answers 11

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I don't think there is a single word answer here because of the need for the connotation of 'claiming'. But of course more than one word together might be able to capture what you seek.

The word

presume

invokes the notion of 'claim' and then any appropriately affixed example of the other words will carry the superiority, as in

'presumes surpassing'

In your example sentence, that really doesn't fit (because it is unclear if what you ask for is relevant to that sentence).

When the mind gets answers, it presumes that it is knowable.

Another word that is relevant is:

audacity

(which has the connotation of an assumption of superiority) but that doesn't fit the grammar you're looking to fill in.

3

The fact I won in every category allowed me to _ him.
(Because I won, I took the position of being above him.)

That example made me think of the verb best, meaning "to get the better of; outdo."

  • Winning in every category means that you bested him. It was not the win that allowed you to best him, but instead skill or circumstances. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Mar 7 '12 at 3:10
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As the sentence you're trying to fill implies some form of "takeover", I humbly submit to usurp (to take the place of illegally). Thus, "When the mind answers all the whys about God, it usurps God."

  • Nice, I am learning a lot of words. The problem with this one (usurp) is that it means to claim the place OF - not ABOVE... In the case of the mind and God, what I am trying to say (concisely) is that the when the mind knows something, it considers itself to be MORE or ABOVE the object of its knowledge, even when this object is God himself. Maybe I am asking for too much in too little... – Shivadas Mar 5 '12 at 0:44
  • Fair point - usurping a crown does rather imply the incumbent king is relegated to not being king any more rather than being "not as good as this other guy"! – lotsoffreetime Mar 5 '12 at 8:17
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You could use "overrides" or "displaces".

  • I don't see how "displace" is relevant. "Override" can be interesting. Any comments on that? – Shivadas Mar 4 '12 at 0:24
  • A boat displaces water. – Sam Mar 4 '12 at 5:25
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You may be looking for something as simple as, "conquer". Alternatively, "subjugate" may suit your purpose.

  • On the lines of "subjugate," consider also "subordinate," "diminish" and "demean." – Phil N. Mar 8 '12 at 1:00
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Arrogate means to claim without justification or to claim unwarrantably or presumptuously; to assume or appropriate to oneself without right.

It is a verb that takes an object, however, so your example sentence would need to be slightly revised to something like: When the mind answers all the whys about God, it arrogates God's position (or His sovereignty).

Here is a link to some other examples of the word used in sentences: http://www.wordnik.com/words/arrogate

Interestingly, arrogate is etymologically related to arrogant.

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How about: 'surpass', 'outstrip', or 'rise above'?

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Based on your second example, I think you're looking for the word supplant which means to supersede and replace.

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An informal alternative to other answers offered thus far is: one-ups.

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Supersedes or sublimates. ‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫‫

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    The 30-character limit is there for a reason. Just try to make your answer more useful and you will easily reach it. – RegDwigнt Mar 4 '12 at 12:13
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For something slightly more forceful you could use "usurped". It may not quite fit with your specific context.

to take and keep (something, such as power) in a forceful or violent way and especially without the right to do so

(Merriam-Webster)

protected by tchrist Oct 16 '16 at 12:56

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