n. pl. coups (kz)Idiom:
1. A brilliantly executed stratagem; a triumph.
a. A coup d'état.
b. A sudden appropriation of leadership or power; a takeover: a boardroom coup.
3. Among certain Native American peoples, a feat of bravery performed in battle, especially the touching of an enemy's body without causing injury.
Among certain Native American peoples, to ceremoniously recount one's exploits in battle.
[French, stroke, from Old French colp, from Late Latin colpus, from Latin colaphus, from Greek kolaphos.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.