noun, plural coups [kooz; French koo]. /kuz; French ku/.
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Idioms for coup
- to perform a coup.
- to recount or relate the coups one has performed.
Origin of coup1
Words nearby coup
Definition for coup (2 of 2)
verb (used with or without object) Scot.
Origin of coup2
TRENDS AND NEWS
Why is coup trending?
On January 6, 2021, interest in the word coup spiked—corresponding with a 962% increase in search interest on Dictionary.com—after a mob of supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building on the day Congress was set to certify the electoral vote count to confirm Joe Biden’s presidential election victory. Some journalists, political analysts, and politicians used the word coup to describe the events that occurred at the nation’s capitol.
The word coup, in this context, is short for coup d’état, which literally means “stroke of state” in French. Due to its French origin, the final p is not pronounced, making the word sound identical to the word coo.
The violence at the Capitol today was an attempted coup and act of insurrection egged on by a corrupt President to overthrow our democracy.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 6, 2021
Every seditionist House member who supported and encouraged this attempted coup needs to be expelled.
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) January 6, 2021
Our democracy is literally under assault.
Donald J. Trump incited this violence and is directly responsible for this attempted coup.
He must be impeached and removed from office immediately.
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) January 6, 2021
Coup vs. sedition vs. insurrection
Those discussing the events of January 6 also used other strong words to describe what happened, such as sedition, insurrection, and (domestic) terrorism. The terms coup and coup d’état narrowly refer to an illegal or forceful change of government, as opposed to an uprising in general. A coup may be attempted with the intention of removing a single political leader, rather than instituting an entirely new form of government, for example. Sedition refers to incitement or promotion of rebellion against the government, while insurrection refers to an active rebellion or uprising against the government. Despite the differences in their meanings, terms like sedition, insurrection, and coup are sometimes used in the discussion of the same events. For example, a coup may be the result of an insurrection inspired by sedition.
More broadly, terrorism involves the use of violence or threats of violence—especially against civilians—to achieve some political aim. Domestic terrorism specifically refers to acts of terrorism against one’s fellow citizens. By contrast, the word insurrection typically refers to acts that target the government, rather than civilians. However, some acts of insurrection may also be considered acts of terrorism.
Some discussing the events of January 6 described them as having the atmosphere of a banana republic, which refers to an authoritarian country known for exploiting its citizens for the benefit of wealthy elites and foreign corporations. (Use of the term is often criticized due to disparaging associations with Central American countries.)
Example sentences from the Web for coup
In Mali, the government’s failure to tackle terrorism was cited by military leaders as one of the reasons behind their coup last month.Butterfly Effect: Pandemic Shrouds Terrorist Activities|Charu Kasturi|September 3, 2020|Ozy
SpaceX won a major coup last week after years of effort—a contract to launch about a dozen spacecraft for the US Space Force in the next five years, worth well north of a billion dollars.Why SpaceX is silent about winning a huge military contract|Tim Fernholz|August 13, 2020|Quartz
The ability to “arithmetize” this kind of statement set the stage for the coup.
As it happened, the coup members found the State House “fortified with additional soldiers.”
Most coup members “lived in the diaspora in the United States and Germany,” Faal said.
That Stone would slander the democratic, pro-Western, EuroMaidan revolution as a CIA coup is no surprise.
Perhaps in part because it was an FBI coup, the CIA stepped in with its high-priced psychologist.The Luxury Homes That Torture and Your Tax Dollars Built|Michael Daly|December 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Had the coup succeeded, the Qatar problem might have become still worse than it is.
He preferred to wait and see what coup it was she was now preparing.Cleo The Magnificent|Louis Zangwill
"You could make a coup de tongue," thought Molly, sighing helplessly.Molly Brown's Sophomore Days|Nell Speed
I ought to have known that I was mistaken: it wasn't even a coup, but a cab, and an old one at that!Paul and His Dog, v.1 (Novels of Paul de Kock Volume XIII)|Charles Paul de Kock
The defenceless condition of that city was known to the British General, whose object was to take it by 'coup de main'.The Life of Francis Marion|William Gilmore Simms
The latter had spoiled his coup, robbed him of its fruits, and now was letting him go to prison.Crooked Trails and Straight|William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for coup (1 of 3)
Word Origin for coup
British Dictionary definitions for coup (2 of 3)
Word Origin for coup
British Dictionary definitions for coup (3 of 3)
Word Origin for coup
Cultural definitions for coup
In politics, an abbreviation for coup d'état.