Definition of coup in English:


Line breaks: coup
Pronunciation: /kuː

noun (plural coups /kuːz/)

1 (also coup d'état) A sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government: he was overthrown in an army coup
More example sentences
  • In November he precipitated a second coup d'état.
  • This was the coup d'état of his grandfather Louis XV and chancellor Maupeou against the parlements.
  • The country's all-powerful military, which has seized power in three coups since 1960, sees staunch secularism as a pillar of the state.
2An instance of successfully achieving something difficult: it was a major coup to get such a prestigious contract
More example sentences
  • Two of the greatest Second World War intelligence coups were achieved by the Russians.
  • A young man who scored a major coup by being elected to both local authorities having had difficulties in getting nominated.
  • If the deal is successful, it would be a major coup for the galleries, putting its collection of modern art on a par with London's Tate Modern.
success, triumph, feat, successful manoeuvre, stunt, accomplishment, achievement, attainment, stroke, master stroke, stroke of genius;
Frenchtour de force
2.1An unusual or unexpected but successful tactic in card play.
3 Billiards A direct pocketing of the cue ball, which is a foul stroke.
4 historical (Among North American Indians) an act of touching an enemy, as a deed of bravery, or an act of first touching an item of the enemy’s in order to claim it.


late 18th century: from French, from medieval Latin colpus 'blow' (see cope1).

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