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 — 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 — A coup de grâce is a finishing blow. Coup de Grâce may also refer to: Coup de Grâce (1969 film), an Argentine comedy Coup de Grâce (1976 film), a film by Volker Schlöndorff Coup de Grace (CSI), an episode of the TV series CSI: Crime Scene… …   Wikipedia

  • Coup de grâce — For other uses, see Coup de Grâce (disambiguation). The expression coup de grâce (  /ˌkuː …   Wikipedia

  • coup de grâce — or coup de grace noun (plural coups de grâce or coups de grace) Etymology: French coup de grâce, literally, stroke of mercy Date: 1699 1. a deathblow or death shot administered to end the suffering of one mortally wounded 2. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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