dict.org

The DICT Development Group


Search for:
Search type:
Database:

Database copyright information
Server information


1 definition found
 for coup d''etat
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Coup \Coup\ (k[=oo]), n. [F., fr.L. colaphus a cuff, Gr.
     ko`lafos.]
     1. A sudden stroke delivered with promptness and force; --
        used also in various ways to convey the idea of an
        unexpected, clever, and successful tactic or stratagem.
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
  
     2. A single roll of the wheel at roulette, or a deal at rouge
        et noir. [Cant]
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     3. Among some tribes of North American Indians especially of
        the Great Plains, the act of striking or touching an enemy
        in warfare with the hand or at close quarters, as with a
        short stick, in such a manner as by custom to entitle the
        doer to count the deed an act of bravery; hence, any of
        various other deeds recognized by custom as acts of
        bravery or honor.
  
              While the coup was primarily, and usually, a blow
              with something held in the hand, other acts in
              warfare which involved great danger to him who
              performed them were also reckoned coups by some
              tribes.                               --G. B.
                                                    Grinnell.
  
              Among the Blackfeet the capture of a shield, bow,
              gun, war bonnet, war shirt, or medicine pipe was
              deemed a coup.                        --G. B.
                                                    Grinnell.
        [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
  
     Coup de grace (k[=oo]` de gr[.a]s") [F.], the stroke of
        mercy with which an executioner ends by death the
        sufferings of the condemned; hence, a decisive, finishing
        stroke.
  
     Coup de main (k[=oo]` de m[a^]N") [F.] (Mil.), a sudden and
        unexpected movement or attack.
  
     Coup de soleil (k[=o]` de s[-o]*l[asl]l or -l[asl]"y') [F.]
        (Med.), a sunstroke. See Sunstroke.
  
     Coup d'['e]tat (k[=oo]" d[asl]*t[aum]") [F.] (Politics), a
        sudden, decisive exercise of power whereby the existing
        government is subverted without the consent of the people;
        an unexpected measure of state, more or less violent; a
        stroke of policy.
  
     Coup d'[oe]il (k[=oo]` d[~e]l"). [F.]
        (a) A single view; a rapid glance of the eye; a
            comprehensive view of a scene; as much as can be seen
            at one view.
        (b) The general effect of a picture.
        (c) (Mil.) The faculty or the act of comprehending at a
            glance the weakness or strength of a military
            position, of a certain arrangement of troops, the most
            advantageous position for a battlefield, etc.
            [1913 Webster]

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229