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
President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti claims he survived a coup attempt on Sunday.
To stop the coup they feared, the left was ready to flood the streets.The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election|Molly Ball|February 4, 2021|Time
Thailand, where the military remains in power after a successful coup in 2014, will be only too happy to continue trade with Myanmar.
Myanmar pulled the plug during a military coup d’état this weekend, as Aaron noted in yesterday’s newsletter.Myanmar: How repressive regimes quash dissent with Internet shutdowns|Robert Hackett|February 2, 2021|Fortune
Where there’s a coup, there will probably be an internet outage.Internet blackouts skyrocket amid global political unrest|Sara Fischer|February 2, 2021|Axios
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.
Le lendemain matin, un coup de vent l'emporta tout seul dehors de la chaloupe dans les vagues, et jamais depuis, n'est apparu.
My coup-d'œil assured me that it was practicable to give to this feature the character of a projecting under-jaw.Checkmate|Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
On ne peut arracher tout d'un coup les coutumes & faons de faire inveteres d'un peuple quel que ce soit.
Calm under fire, he possessed a sure and penetrating coup d'œil; he had great experience in war.Napoleon's Marshals|R. P. Dunn-Pattison
Constantinople serait directement menacé par ce coup retentissant.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
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.