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.

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

Definition for coup (2 of 2)

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 (1 of 3)

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

British Dictionary definitions for coup (2 of 3)

coup

2

cowp

Scot

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

British Dictionary definitions for coup (3 of 3)

coup

3
/ (kaʊp) /

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

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.