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

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: coup de poing
Previous Word in the Dictionary: coup de grâce
All Words Near: coup de main

Seen & Heard

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