verb \ˈkōp\

Definition of COUP

chiefly Scottish

Origin of COUP

Middle English, to strike, from Anglo-French couper — more at cope
First Known Use: circa 1572


noun \ˈkü\

: an impressive victory or achievement that usually is difficult or unexpected

plural coups \ˈküz\

Full Definition of COUP

:  a brilliant, sudden, and usually highly successful stroke or act

Examples of COUP

  1. It was a major coup when they got the Vice President to appear on their show for an interview.
  2. <winning that big contract was a real coup>

Origin of COUP

French, blow, stroke — more at cope
First Known Use: 1791

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun \ˈkü\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of COUP

: injury occurring on the side of an organ (as the brain) on which a blow or impact is received—compare contrecoup


Next Word in the Dictionary: coupage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: countywide
All Words Near: coup

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up coup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).