coup d'état

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

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

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

Full Definition of COUP D'ÉTAT

:  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

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

Origin of COUP D'ÉTAT

French, literally, stroke of state
First Known Use: 1646


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