Coup d'oeil


Coup d'oeil
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 d'oeil — [ko͞o dë′y ] n. 〚Fr, lit., stroke of eye〛 a rapid glance * * * …   Universalium

  • coup d'oeil — [ko͞o dë′y ] n. [Fr, lit., stroke of eye] a rapid glance …   English World dictionary

  • coup d'oeil — noun (plural coups d oeil) Etymology: French, literally, stroke of the eye Date: 1739 a brief survey ; glance …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • coup d'oeil — noun The ability to understand much at a glance …   Wiktionary

  • coup d’oeil —    (koo DEUY) [French: a stroke of the eye] A quick glance; a comprehensive view of a landscape, building, etc …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • coup-d'oeil — n. [Fr.] Glance, hasty view, slight view, general view or prospect …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • coup d'oeil — n. 1 a comprehensive glance. 2 a general view. Etymology: F, lit. stroke of the eye …   Useful english dictionary

  • oeil — plur. yeux n. m. rI./r d1./d Organe de la vue (le globe oculaire: iris, pupille, etc.; les paupières). Avoir les yeux bleus, noirs. Fig. et prov. (Allus. biblique.) OEil pour oeil, dent pour dent, formule de la loi du talion. Avoir de bons yeux,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • oeil — OEIL. s. m. L organe de la veuë. On le prononce comme s il y avoit un u. voyelle entre l e & l i. & qu il fust escrit Oeüil. Il fait au pluriel Yeux. Et parce qu on ne se sert pas indifferemment du singulier & du pluriel en toutes sortes de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • coup — COUP. s. mas. Impression que fait un corps sur un autre en le frappant, le perçant, le divisant, etc. Grand coup. Petit coup. Rude coup. Coup léger. Coup pesant. La force, la pesanteur du coup. Coup qui entre bien avant. Coup de poing. Coup de… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798