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coup de grâce

[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/
noun, plural coups de grâce
[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/ (Show IPA).
a death blow, especially one delivered mercifully to end suffering.
any finishing or decisive stroke.
Origin of coup de grâce
literally, blow of mercy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for coup de grace
Historical Examples
  • He had bowed his head and waited sullenly for the coup de grace.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • Nay,” replied Alexander, “it was you that gave him his coup de grace.

    The Mission; or Scenes in Africa Captain Frederick Marryat
  • Most probably he died of apoplexy, the tobacco giving him the coup de grace.

    The Town Leigh Hunt
  • The way for the coup de grace had to be cleared by strategy and dissimulation.

    Homestead Arthur G. Burgoyne
  • It was the middle of a wet June, and the season received its coup de grace.

    Endymion Benjamin Disraeli
  • But "Jane Eyre" gave her, for the moment, the coup de grace.

  • How was I going to secure my victim before giving the coup de grace?


    E. R. Suffling
  • The exposure was a coup de grace to the system of Mr. Perkins.

  • Give him the coup de grace at once, for his own sake as well as for ours.

    Little Rivers Henry van Dyke
  • Nor had the belief in the royalty of cotton received its coup de grace.

British Dictionary definitions for coup de grace

coup de grâce

/ku də ɡrɑs/
noun (pl) coups de grâce (ku də ɡrɑs)
a mortal or finishing blow, esp one delivered as an act of mercy to a sufferer
a final or decisive stroke
Word Origin
literally: blow of mercy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for coup de grace

1690s, from French coup de grâce, literally "stroke of grace;" the merciful death-blow that ends another's suffering (see coup).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coup de grace in Culture
coup de grâce [(kooh duh grahs)]

The final blow: “He had been getting deeper and deeper in debt; the fates delivered the coup de grâce when he died.” The phrase is French for “stroke of mercy.” It originally referred to the merciful stroke that put a fatally wounded person out of his misery or to the shot delivered to the head of a prisoner after he had faced a firing squad.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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