[ koo-pey or for 1, 5, koop ]
/ kuˈpeɪ or for 1, 5, kup /


a short, four-wheeled, closed carriage, usually with a single seat for two passengers and an outside seat for the driver.
the end compartment in a European diligence or railroad car.
Ballet. an intermediary step to transfer the weight from one foot to the other.
(in Continental heraldry) party per fess.
Also coupe (for defs 1–3).

Origin of coupé

1825–35; < French coupé (in defs 1, 2 short for carrosse coupé “cut-off or shortened coach”), past participle of couper “to cut off,” verbal derivative of coup coup1; cf. cope1
Can be confusedcoup coupe coupé Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for coupé (1 of 2)


/ (ˈkuːpeɪ) /


Also called: fixed-head coupé a four-seater car with a fixed roof, a sloping back, and usually two doorsCompare drophead coupé
a four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with two seats inside and one outside for the driver
an end compartment in a European railway carriage with seats on one side only

Word Origin for coupé

C19: from French, short for carosse coupé, literally: cut-off carriage, from couper to cut, from coup blow, stroke

British Dictionary definitions for coupé (2 of 2)


/ (kuːp) /


a dessert of fruit and ice cream, usually served in a glass goblet
a dish or stemmed glass bowl designed for this dessert

Word Origin for coupe

C19: from French: goblet, cup
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

Word Origin and History for coupé



1834, from French coupe (18c.), noun use of past participle of couper "to cut (in half);" see coup. Modern use is from early 19c. carrosse coupe "cut-off carriage," a shorter version of the berlin, minus the back seat. First applied to closed two-door automobiles 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper