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coup d'état

[koo dey-tah; French koo dey-ta] /ˌku deɪˈtɑ; French ku deɪˈta/
noun, plural coups d'état
[koo dey-tahz; French koo dey-ta] /ˌku deɪˈtɑz; French ku deɪˈta/ (Show IPA)
1.
a sudden and decisive action in politics, especially one resulting in a change of government illegally or by force.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; < French: literally, stroke concerning the state
Synonyms
overthrow, rebellion, revolution, uprising.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for coup d'état

coup d'état

/ˈkuː deɪˈtɑː; French ku deta/
noun (pl) coups d'état (ˈkuːz deɪˈtɑː; French) (ku deta)
1.
a sudden violent or illegal seizure of government
Word Origin
French, literally: stroke of state
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for coup d'état

coup d'etat

n.

1640s, from French coup d'étate, literally "stroke of the state" (see coup). Technically any sudden, decisive political act but popularly restricted to the overthrow of a government.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coup d'état in Culture
coup d'état [(kooh day-tah)]

A quick and decisive seizure of governmental power by a strong military or political group. In contrast to a revolution, a coup d'état, or coup, does not involve a mass uprising. Rather, in the typical coup, a small group of politicians or generals arrests the incumbent leaders, seizes the national radio and television services, and proclaims itself in power. Coup d'état is French for “stroke of the state” or “blow to the government.”

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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