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coup

1
[ koo ]
/ ku /
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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.
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Idioms about coup

    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

Other definitions for coup (2 of 2)

coup2
[ 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. 2022

How to use coup in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for coup (1 of 3)

coup1
/ (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)

coup2

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)

coup3
/ (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

Cultural 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.
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