noun, plural coups d'é·tat [koo dey-tahz; French koo dey-ta]. /ˌku deɪˈtɑz; French ku deɪˈta/.
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Origin of coup d'état
Words nearby coup d'état
TRENDS AND NEWS
Why is coup d’état trending?
On January 6, 2021, interest in the term coup d’état increased sharply—corresponding with a 3039% increase in searches 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 term coup d’état to describe the events that occurred at the nation’s capitol.
The term coup d’état comes from French and literally means “stroke of state.” Due to its French origin, the final p in coup and the final t in état are not pronounced. The word coup is often used as a shortening of coup d’état.
I spoke to @RepCarbajal this evening, who believe it or not called me back to talk for a policy story. Some of his thoughts on the day:
It was an "attempt by the president to incite a coup detat.”
— Sam Mintz (@samjmintz) January 6, 2021
Just spoke to former IA Rep. Dave Loebsack, who said he is not one to use extreme rhetoric, but called what is happening at the nation's capitol "a coup d'etat attempt" and that he is worried about his former colleagues in Congress.#iapolitics
— Monica Madden (@themonicamadden) January 6, 2021
Coup d’état vs. sedition vs. insurrection
Discussion of the events of January 6 also included other strong words in descriptions of 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, coup, and coup d’état 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 d'état
“Gronkowski” itself never manages to sound more erotic than the name of a hearty Polish stew or a D-list WWE performer.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits|Emily Shire|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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.
I take calcium and vitamin D supplements, but prescription medications are generally only for women in menopause.
C was a Captain, all covered with lace; D was a drunkard, and had a red face.
D'o l'on peut aussy veoir, quelle esperance il y a de planter une belle chrestient par tels evangelistes.
Neither of us spoke again, and at length the squat log buildings of Pend d' Oreille loomed ahead of us in the night.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
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
British Dictionary definitions for coup d'état
noun plural coups d'état (ˈkuːz deɪˈtɑː, French ku deta)
Word Origin for coup d'état
Cultural definitions for coup d'état
A quick and decisive seizure of governmental power by a strong military or political group. In contrast to a revolution, a coup d'état, or coup, does not involve a mass uprising. Rather, in the typical coup, a small group of politicians or generals arrests the incumbent leaders, seizes the national radio and television services, and proclaims itself in power. Coup d'état is French for “stroke of the state” or “blow to the government.”