coup

(redirected from coups)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms.
Related to coups: Coupons, COUPA

coup

(ko͞o) [Fr.,=blow], among Native North Americans of the Plains culture, a war honor, awarded for striking an enemy in such a way that it was considered an extreme act of bravery. Generally, coups were awarded according to the degree of difficulty and danger involved; the most extreme, such as striking an armed enemy with the bare hand, counted highest. Killing an enemy, wounding him, scalping him, or stealing his horse or gun—all these were coups of value. Recital of the deeds was an important social function, and a warrior with many coups held a high status and was honored at feasts, ceremonials, and in the tribe. After warfare had ceased, coups became transferable property, passing from the old men to the younger, who needed coups to acquire warrior status in the tribe.

coup (d'état)

the sudden overthrow of state power by unconstitutional, usually violent, means. In contrast to a revolutionary change in power, in a coup there may be no intention to change the social and economic set-up radically. Instead, a change in the governing group may be all that is intended. In recent decades, many coups have been military (see MILITARY INTERVENTION IN POLITICS). See also REVOLUTION.
References in classic literature ?
"And you ask me why I call it a coup d'etat?" Arobin had put on his coat, and he stood before her and asked if his cravat was plumb.
This frolic put every one in such spirits, that Polly forgot her trouble, and the little girls kissed each other good-night as affectionately as if such things as imported frocks, coup,s, and rival brothers did n't exist "Well, Polly, do you like parties?" asked Fan when the last guest was gone.
From time to time I boldly attacked a history, and carried it by a 'coup de main,' or sat down before it for a prolonged siege.
Time and again each scored a point and brought blood to his opponent's copper hide until both were red with gore; but neither seemed able to administer the coup de grace.
"I did manage to make poor men of a few brokers in New York, but my best coup went wrong.
Turkey saw three coups between 1960 and 1980, and in 1997 the army pressured an Islamist-led government out of office.
The recent military coups in Egypt and in Turkey respectively have different internal and external dynamics that led to the success of the former and the failure of the latter.
During the period of seven and a half months since the outbreak of the December Revolution, there have been a series of attempts at military coups, allegedly Seven, to bring back the arbitrary regime of the ousted former (NCP) and its deposed ruler to life for the vicious circle of empowerment and crimes to continue at the expense of the disenfranchised Sudanese citizens.
Turkey has repeatedly faced military coups, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Society Kerem Kinik told reporters in Ankara.
The coups of the 60s and 80s, the March 12 Memorandum, the February 28 post-modern coup, and ultimately the April 27 e-memorandum, all of which constitute interventions in Turkey's democratic civil government, also provide a litmus test of the strength of the nation's willpower, and, until recently, have all been projections of the ill fate that has attempted to dominate the history of Turkey.
"This is a day to unite, a day to stand up against coups and dictatorial regimes, a day to let the voice of the people be heard," he said at the rally, organized by his secularist opposition CHP but also backed by the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party and by other opposition groups.