\ 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

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 This ragtag amateur force of doctors, dentists, tattoo artists, poets and farmers has joined with existing ethnic armed groups to thwart the military’s efforts to quash resistance to its coup. Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2022 But critics have argued the impunity the military largely faced laid the groundwork for its February 2021 coup, just days after President Joe Biden took office. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 22 Mar. 2022 After their great coup, the Sandinistas kept to themselves somewhere in the mountains. Alma Guillermoprieto, The New Yorker, 10 Mar. 2022 Her real estate coup marked a happy ending in one of the many decades-long battles that blighted swaths of cities around the nation: roads that were planned but never built. Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2022 My personal coup was singing as the dentist Ira Needleman. Andy Hoglund,, 16 Jan. 2022 Claremont has been punching way above its historic weight in the Trump era, and since Trump, playing a role in trying to justify his coup—in effect, playing a role in bringing more illiberal and scary strains into acceptable conservative discourse. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2021 In June, Col. Assimi Goita was sworn in as president of a transitional government after carrying out his second coup in nine months. Edith M. Lederer, ajc, 8 Dec. 2021 Roh Tae-woo, Chun’s army colleague who assisted during his coup, won the 1987 election, largely thanks to a vote split among liberal opposition candidates. Hyung-jin Kim, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This year's pace car is the second consecutive Chevy's Corvette Stingray, with last year's 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray coup the choice. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 11 May 2021 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for coup


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on coup

Nglish: Translation of coup for Spanish Speakers

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


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