Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

coup d'état

noun \ˌkü-(ˌ)dā-ˈtä, ˈkü-(ˌ)dā-ˌ, -də-\

Simple Definition of coup d'état

  • : a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of coup d'état

plural coups d'état or coups d'etat play \-ˈtä(z), -ˌtä(z)\

  1. :  a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially :  the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group

Variants of coup d'état

or coup d'etat play \ˌkü-(ˌ)dā-ˈtä, ˈkü-(ˌ)dā-ˌ, -də-\

Origin of coup d'état

French, literally, stroke of state


First Known Use: 1646


Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin prompt oily angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ