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 coup d'état (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 Consider the recent efforts to atone for a massacre and coup d'etat that took place in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 and left hundreds dead -- a brutal imposition of White political rule after the progress of Reconstruction. Peniel E. Joseph, CNN, 4 Jan. 2022 In his remarks Monday evening, Erdogan framed the economic crisis as another foreign plot against Turkey, comparing it to a 2016 coup d'etat attempt that failed to push him from power. Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2021 It is often cited by historians as the only violent coup d'etat in the United States. Delano Massey, CNN, 7 Nov. 2021 The situation escalated last month, when a military coup d'etat attributed to forces loyal to Bashir failed, resulting in most of the officers involved being arrested. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 25 Oct. 2021 After the election of Allende in 1970 and Pinochet’s coup d'etat in 1973, the vast majority of Chilean vineyards fell into disrepair as many large tracts of land were redistributed. Jillian Dara, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 The African Union typically suspends the membership of a country after a coup d'etat. Krista Larson, ajc, 7 Sep. 2021 Mutinous soldiers detained President Alpha Conde on Sunday after hours of heavy gunfire rang out near the presidential palace, then announced on state television that the government had been dissolved in an apparent coup d'etat. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 6 Sep. 2021 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,, 5 Jan. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for coup d'état

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near coup d'état

coup d'essai

coup d'état

coup d'oeil

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coup d'état.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for coup d'état

coup d'état


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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coup d'état


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