1. [syn: surprise attack, coup de main]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Coup \Coup\ (k[=oo]), n. [F., fr.L. colaphus a cuff, Gr.
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.
Among the Blackfeet the capture of a shield, bow,
gun, war bonnet, war shirt, or medicine pipe was
deemed a coup. --G. B.
[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
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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
coup de main
n 1: an attack without warning [syn: surprise attack, coup de