coup d'état

play
noun \ˌkü-(ˌ)dā-ˈtä, ˈkü-(ˌ)dā-ˌtä, -də-\
variants: or

coup d'etat

Definition of coup d'état

plural

coups d'état

or

coups d'etat

play \ˌkü-(ˌ)dā-ˈtä, ˈkü-(ˌ)dā-ˌtä, -də-\
  1. :  a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially :  the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group a military coup d'état of the dictator

Origin and Etymology of coup d'état

French, literally, stroke of state


COUP D'ÉTAT Defined for English Language Learners

coup d'état

play
noun

Definition of coup d'état for English Language Learners

  • : a sudden attempt by a small group of people to take over the government usually through violence


Learn More about coup d'état


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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