coup d'état

\ ˌkü-(ˌ)dā-ˈtä How to pronounce coup d'état (audio) , ˈkü-(ˌ)dā-ˌtä, -də- \
variants: or coup d'etat
plural coups d'état or coups d'etat\ ˌkü-​(ˌ)dā-​ˈtä How to pronounce coups d'etat (audio) , ˈkü-​(ˌ)dā-​ˌtä , -​də-​ \ also coup d'états or coup d'etats

Definition of coup d'état

: 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

Examples of coup d'état in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Great does an excellent job of tempering the gravity of a coup d'etat with the sheer ridiculousness of the Russian court. Ineye Komonibo,, "Your Favorite Quarantine Binge Is Coming Back For An Even Wilder Second Season," 2 July 2020 After a military coup d'etat forced her to leave her home in Athens, Princess Alice moved back to England in 1967 and stayed in a suite in Buckingham Palace, according to her obituary in The New York Times. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Incredible True Story of Prince Philip's Mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg," 17 Nov. 2019 Morales’ supporters have likened his resignation to a coup d'etat – an assertion echoed by some Washington lawmakers. Fox News, "Bolivia opposition leader declares herself president after Evo Morales’ resignation," 13 Nov. 2019 Peter II ascended the throne at age 17 in a coup d'etat against his uncle and regent, who wished to ally Yugoslavia with Germany during WWII. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Queen Victoria's Descendants Still Reign Over Europe," 17 Feb. 2019 May 2014 saw a coup d'etat and since, the country has been living under military rule, with no elections, civilians tried in military court, and a ban on even discussing politics. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Meet the Woman Fighting for Democracy in Thailand," 9 Apr. 2018 The song recalls the Gwangju Democracy Movement of 1980, during which the residents of the city rose up in protest against the coup d'etat and martial rule of Chun Doo-Hwan. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "BTS' Most Political Lyrics: A Guide to Their Social Commentary on South Korean Society," 13 Feb. 2018 Lucia left Chile as a young adult in the 1970s, during the Chilean coup d'etat. Kate Scott, Chicago Reader, "Isabel Allende’s mystical new novel is a sly response to anti-immigrant fear," 25 Oct. 2017 Qualifying for the World Cup is a significant achievement for a country whose national team suffered when the 2011-12 and 2012-13 domestic seasons were canceled following the Port Said stadium disaster and the 2013 coup d'etat. Henry Young, CNN, "Egypt sent into raptures as country qualifies for first World Cup since 1990," 9 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coup d'état.' 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 d'état

1646, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coup d'état

French, literally, stroke of state

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about coup d'état

Time Traveler for coup d'état

Time Traveler

The first known use of coup d'état was in 1646

See more words from the same year

Statistics for coup d'état

Cite this Entry

“Coup d'état.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for coup d'état

coup d'état

How to pronounce coup d'état (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coup d'état

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

More from Merriam-Webster on coup d'état

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coup d'état

Comments on coup d'état

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!