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coup de grâce

[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/
noun, plural coups de grâce
[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/ (Show IPA).
French.
1.
a death blow, especially one delivered mercifully to end suffering.
2.
any finishing or decisive stroke.
Origin of coup de grâce
literally, blow of mercy
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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?

    Jethou

    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)
1.
a mortal or finishing blow, esp one delivered as an act of mercy to a sufferer
2.
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
n.

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 American Heritage® 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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