coup de main

coup de main

noun \-ˈmaⁿ\
plural coups de main \ˌkü-də-\

Definition of COUP DE MAIN

:  a sudden attack in force

Examples of COUP DE MAIN

  1. <the Continental Army's attack on the British-Hessian encampment at Trenton, New Jersey, ranks as one of the most brilliant coups de main of the war>

Origin of COUP DE MAIN

French, literally, hand stroke
First Known Use: 1758


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