noun (plural coups /ko͞oz/)
- 1 (also coup d'état) A sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government: he was overthrown in an army coupMore 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.
- 2A notable or successful stroke or move: it was a major coup to get such a prestigious contractMore 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.
- 3A contusion caused by contact of the brain with the skull at the point of trauma. Compare with contrecoup.
late 18th century: from French, from medieval Latin colpus 'blow' (see cope1).