Dictionary.com

coup de grâce

[ kooduh -grahs ]
/ kudə ˈgrɑs /
Save This Word!

noun, plural coups de grâce [kooduh -grahs]. /kudə ˈgrɑs/. French.
a death blow, especially one delivered mercifully to end suffering.
any finishing or decisive stroke.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of coup de grâce

Literally, “blow of mercy”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use coup de grâce in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coup de grâce

coup de grâce
/ French (ku də ɡrɑs) /

noun plural coups de grâce (ku də ɡrɑs)
a mortal or finishing blow, esp one delivered as an act of mercy to a sufferer
a final or decisive stroke

Word Origin for coup de grâce

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

Cultural definitions for coup de grâce

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 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.
FEEDBACK