1 [koo]
noun, plural coups [kooz; French koo] .
a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.
(among the Plains Indians of North America) a brave or reckless deed performed in battle by a single warrior, as touching or striking an enemy warrior without sustaining injury oneself.
count coup,
to perform a coup.
to recount or relate the coups one has performed.

1640–50; < French: literally, blow, stroke, Old French colp < Late Latin colpus, Latin colaphus < Greek kólaphos Unabridged


2 [kohp, koop]
verb (used with object), verb (used without object) Scot.
overturn; upset.

1350–1400; Middle English coupe to pay for < Old Norse kaupa to buy, barter; cognate with Old English cēapian, German kaufen. See cheap Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
coup1 (kuː)
1.  a brilliant and successful stroke or action
2.  short for coup d'état
[C18: from French: blow, from Latin colaphus blow with the fist, from Greek kolaphos]

coup or (Scot) cowp2 (kaʊp)
1.  to turn or fall over
2.  a rubbish tip
[C15: perhaps identical with obsolete cope to strike; see cope1]
cowp or (Scot) cowp2
[C15: perhaps identical with obsolete cope to strike; see cope1]

coup3 (kaʊp)
(Scot) to barter; traffic; deal
[C14: from Old Norse kaupa to buy]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, from O.Fr. colp "to cut, strike," from M.L. colpus, from V.L. colapus, from L. colaphus "a cuff, box on the ear," from Gk. kolaphos "a blow, slap."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
coup [(kooh)]

In politics, an abbreviation for coup d'état.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Easier to leave you in limbo until the form letter delivers the coup de grace.
At this point in time, no one can be sure as to whether the coup would have
  succeeded or failed.
Together they plotted a failed coup and spent over a year in prison.
The generals justified the coup on security grounds.
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