\ ˈkü How to pronounce coup (audio) \
plural coups\ ˈküz How to pronounce coups (audio) \

Definition of coup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : a brilliant, sudden, and usually highly successful stroke or act She pulled off quite a coup when she snagged the usually reclusive author for an interview.


\ ˈkōp How to pronounce coup (audio) \
couped; couping; coups

Definition of coup (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly Scotland

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for coup

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of coup in a Sentence

Noun It was a major coup when they got the Vice President to appear on their show for an interview. winning that big contract was a real coup
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Strain into a coup glass and top with sparkling wine. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "9 Refreshing Cocktails To Mix Up This Memorial Day," 20 May 2020 There are also theories that Peter died by suicide in captivity, and that Catherine’s coup was motivated by suspicions that Peter was going to divorce her, rather than her own political aspirations. Leah Marilla Thomas,, "How Catherine The Great’s Coup Against Her Husband Peter Really Happened," 15 May 2020 Both communities see the particle collider as a political and economic coup for the country. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "Japan Inches Forward with Plans to Host Next Big Particle Collider," 26 Feb. 2020 Beyond its elegant aesthetic served in coups or flutes, Champagne likewise plays well with others, making it a fine friend to bring to seasonal soirées, ready to accentuate everything from turkey and truffles to caviar and cake. Kat Odell, Vogue, "The Most Beautiful Champagne Bottles to Get and Gift This Holiday Season," 30 Nov. 2019 To that end, co-chairs Dr. Yvonne Cormier and Mary D'Andrea secured a fashion coup to up the fundraising ante. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Latin-American art, avant garde fashion steal the show at CAMH's "Another Great Night" in River Oaks," 22 Nov. 2019 In 1992, Alberto Fujimori shut down congress, assumed legislative powers and suspended the constitution in what was regarded as an auto-coup. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Peru president dissolves congress amid anti-corruption push," 30 Sep. 2019 Kentucky football recruitment: Justin Rogers is UK's latest coup in possible pipeline to metro Detroit Over the weekend, Kentucky picked up commitments from Ohio prep running backs Torrance Davisand JuTahn McClain. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Could 2020 Kentucky football recruiting class be Mark Stoops' highest-rated?," 21 May 2019 The Turkish leader has portrayed Kavala as a major force beind the protests that threatened his rule, and his acquittal came at a time when speculation is percolating of another coup in the making. Taylan Bilgic,, "Turkey Rearrests Acquitted Philanthropist After Erdogan Backlash," 5 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coup.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of coup


1791, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1572, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coup


French, blow, stroke — more at cope entry 1


Middle English, to strike, from Anglo-French couper — more at cope entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coup

Time Traveler for coup

Time Traveler

The first known use of coup was circa 1572

See more words from the same year

Statistics for coup

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coup


How to pronounce coup (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coup

: an impressive victory or achievement that usually is difficult or unexpected


\ ˈkü How to pronounce coup (audio) \

Medical Definition of coup

: injury occurring on the side of an organ (as the brain) on which a blow or impact is received — compare contrecoup

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on coup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with coup

Spanish Central: Translation of coup

Nglish: Translation of coup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coup for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about coup

Comments on coup

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!