Goto next slide"Coup d'état"audio icon

When:

Lookups spiked on May 22, 2014.

Why:

The military takeover in Thailand, which began with two days of martial law, is now considered a coup d'état. As the Daily Beast reported: "There's no doubt now: The military has staged a coup d'état in Thailand."

Coup d'état (or just coup) means "the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group." It is also often spelled without the accent mark (coup d'etat).

In French, coup d'état literally means "stroke of the state" — "stroke" as in "knock" or "blow."