\ ˈkü \
plural coups\ˈküz \

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 \
couped; couping; coups

Definition of coup (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly Scotland

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Synonyms & Antonyms for coup

Synonyms: Noun

accomplishment, achievement, acquirement, attainment, baby, success, triumph

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of coup in a Sentence


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

His acquisition is a spectacular coup for Juventus, even at a cost of around $36 million per year in salary, over the four-year term of Ronaldo’s contract. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo set to join Juventus from Real Madrid," 10 July 2018 That the fate of the Eastern Conference and curiosity over Zach LaVine’s mindset with a rehabbed knee and a healthy bank account has risen to that level is a coup for the NBA. Phil Rosenthal,, "With ESPN's help, NBA is becoming a year-round concern for sports fans," 9 July 2018 For Trump and the conservative legal movement, which never liked Kennedy much anyway, his surrender is a coup. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "Justice Kennedy Surrendered to Donald Trump," 27 June 2018 The summit will already be a significant PR coup for North Korea, which has sought a face-to-face meeting with the sitting US president for decades. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, "Trump-Kim summit: What to watch," 11 June 2018 The tour has not had a lot of stops, so the booking is a real coup for the Shubert. Christopher Arnott,, "Steve Martin's 'Bright Star' Stops For Four Days At The Shubert," 18 Apr. 2018 Otherwise, Oni's five saves were a coup for Tompkins. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Soccer roundup: Memorial shocks top-ranked The Woodlands for first regional final berth," 13 Apr. 2018 The elections were held in a state of emergency, imposed in July 2016 following a coup attempt.... Monitor Editors, The Christian Science Monitor, "Troubled by the US Supreme Court’s upholding of Trump’s travel ban, Erdoğan’s reelection tilts toward authoritarianism, Why a stable Turkey is important, Ukraine has come a long way since Russia’s invasion, ‘Standard of living’ or ‘standard of life’?," 14 July 2018 The Turkish government accuses Gulen of orchestrating the July 2016 failed coup attempt against the Erdogan government. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "NBA star Kanter gets 'three or four death threats every week'," 12 July 2018

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

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coup

The first known use of coup was circa 1572

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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 \

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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Comments on coup

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