Coup de grace


Coup de grace
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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • coup de grace — 1690s, from Fr. coup de gráce, lit. stroke of grace; the merciful death blow that ends another s suffering (see COUP (Cf. coup)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • coup de grace — coup de grâce index dispatch (put to death) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 coup de grace …   Law dictionary

  • Coup de Grâce — [kudə gra:s] der; , s [ku...] <aus gleichbed. fr. coup de grâce> (veraltet) Gnadenstoß …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • coup de grâce — [ ,ku də gras ] noun singular FORMAL a final action that destroys or defeats something that was already weak or failing: King s comments dealt the coup de grâce to any hope she had of being elected …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Coup de grâce — ● Coup de grâce le dernier coup donné à un être vivant pour abréger ses souffrances ou pour l achever ; le coup qui perd ou confond définitivement quelqu un ou quelque chose …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • coup de grâce — ► NOUN (pl. coups de grâce pronunc. same) ▪ a final blow or shot given to kill a wounded person or animal. ORIGIN French, stroke of grace …   English terms dictionary

  • coup de grâce — [[t]ˌku də ˈgrɑs[/t]] n. pl. coups de grâce [[t]ku[/t]] 1) fot a death blow, esp. one delivered mercifully to end suffering 2) fot any finishing or decisive stroke • Etymology: 1695–1705; < F: lit., blow of mercy …   From formal English to slang

  • Coup de Grâce — est un album de Mink DeVille sorti en 1981 chez Atlantic Records Liste des titres Just give me one good reason (Willy DeVille) Help me make it (E. Hnton) Maybe tomorrow (Willy DeVille) Teardrops must fall (Willy DeVille) You better Move on (A.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • coup de grâce — [ˌku: də ˈgra:s] n [singular] [Date: 1600 1700; : French; Origin: stroke of mercy ] 1.) an action or event that ends or destroys something that has gradually been getting weaker 2.) a hit or shot that kills someone or something …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • coup de grâce — [n] finishing blow blow, clincher*, comeuppance, deathblow, defeat, final blow, final stroke, kill, knockout, mercy stroke, mortal blow, quietus; concepts 95,252 …   New thesaurus