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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for coup

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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 On April 21, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced further sanctions targeting two high-revenue firms, the Myanma Timber Enterprise and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise, as further punishment for the military coup. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Biden's 100 days: Where some of the president's early executive orders stand now," 30 Apr. 2021 Myanmar has been hit with a double crisis: The pandemic, and the fallout from a military coup. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for April 30: Coronavirus, police reform, security hacks, Afghanistan, Israel," 30 Apr. 2021 This week, thousands of youths have taken to the streets in N’Djamena and other cities, calling the unconstitutional accession of the younger Mr. Déby, a 37-year-old military commander, a military coup. Benoit Faucon And Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Strongman’s Death Spotlights Complexity of Africa’s Desert Wars," 29 Apr. 2021 The medaI was presented by Peruvian President Fernado Belaúnde Terry, who met Dr. Baker in the early 1970s while Mr. Terry was in exile after a military coup. Jacques Kelly,, "Dr. R. Robinson ‘Bricks’ Baker, retired Johns Hopkins surgeon and teacher, dies," 23 Apr. 2021 The security forces killed 82 people in a single city on Friday, according to the group, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which has been documenting the bloodshed since the military’s Feb. 1 coup. New York Times, "More Bloodshed in Myanmar as Crackdown on Coup Protests Continues," 11 Apr. 2021 In Myanmar, a lethal crackdown is underway amid a military coup as millions continue to protest the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the country's civilian government, who was elected in a landslide in November. NBC News, "'Milk Tea Alliance' brews democracy online among young activists across Asia," 7 Apr. 2021 But the most striking downgrade is that for Myanmar, where a military coup took place in February. The Economist, "Daily chart The IMF boosts global growth forecasts for the second time this year," 6 Apr. 2021 But the urgency of opposing a military coup has brought activists from different faiths together, protesters say. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Myanmar protesters bridge religious divides to counter military coup," 26 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Statistics for coup

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for coup



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

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