coup

1
[ koo ]
/ ku /

noun, plural coups [kooz; French koo] /kuz; French ku/.

a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.
(among the Plains Indians of North America) a brave or reckless deed performed in battle by a single warrior, as touching or striking an enemy warrior without sustaining injury oneself.

Nearby words

  1. county farm,
  2. county home,
  3. county palatine,
  4. county seat,
  5. county town,
  6. coup d'essai,
  7. coup d'etat,
  8. coup d'oeil,
  9. coup d'état,
  10. coup de foudre

Idioms

    count coup, (among Plains Indians of North America)
    1. to perform a coup.
    2. to recount or relate the coups one has performed.

Origin of coup

1
1640–50; < French: literally, blow, stroke, Old French colp < Late Latin colpus, Latin colaphus < Greek kólaphos

coup

2
[ kohp, koop ]
/ koʊp, kup /

verb (used with or without object) Scot.

overturn; upset.

Origin of coup

2
1350–1400; Middle English coupe to pay for < Old Norse kaupa to buy, barter; cognate with Old English cēapian, German kaufen. See cheap

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coup


British Dictionary definitions for coup

coup

1
/ (kuː) /

noun

a brilliant and successful stroke or action
short for coup d'état

Word Origin for coup

C18: from French: blow, from Latin colaphus blow with the fist, from Greek kolaphos

verb

to turn or fall over

noun

a rubbish tip

Word Origin for coup

C15: perhaps identical with obsolete cope to strike; see cope 1

verb

Scot to barter; traffic; deal

Word Origin for coup

C14: from Old Norse kaupa to buy

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

Word Origin and History for coup

coup

n.

c.1400, from Old French coup, colp "a blow, strike" (12c.), from Medieval Latin colpus, from Vulgar Latin colapus, from Latin colaphus "a cuff, box on the ear," from Greek kolaphos "a blow, slap." Meaning "a sudden decisive act" is 1852, short for coup d'etat. In Modern French the word is a workhorse, describing everything from a pat on the back to a whipping, and is used as well of thunder, gusts of wind, gunshots, and chess moves.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for coup

coup

[ (kooh) ]

In politics, an abbreviation for coup d'état.

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