Definition of coup noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kuː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kuː//
    (pl. coups
    BrE BrE//kuːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kuːz//
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  1. 1(also coup d’état) a sudden change of government that is illegal and often violent He seized power in a military coup in 2008. to stage/mount a coup an attempted coup a failed/an abortive coup She lost her position in a boardroom coup (= a sudden change of power among senior managers in a company).
  2. 2the fact of achieving something that was difficult to do Getting this contract has been quite a coup for us. He pulled off a major diplomatic coup by winning agreement from all the warring factions on a permanent ceasefire.
  3. Word Originlate 18th cent.: from French, from medieval Latin colpus ‘blow’ from Greek kolaphos ‘blow with the fist’.Extra examples He managed to pull off a major diplomatic coup. He seized power in a military coup. She lost her position in a boardroom coup. The coup was immediately put down and the plotters were shot. Winning that contract was her greatest coup. a coup against the president an army coup against the president He was sentenced to death for his part in the attempted coup. Months of unrest in the company led to a boardroom coup that saw four directors voted out. The regime was overthrown in a bloodless coup led by young army officers.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: coup