Skip to main content
Select Source:

coup

coup (kōō) [Fr.,=blow], among Native North Americans of the Plains culture, a war honor, awarded for striking an enemy in such a way that it was considered an extreme act of bravery. Generally, coups were awarded according to the degree of difficulty and danger involved; the most extreme, such as striking an armed enemy with the bare hand, counted highest. Killing an enemy, wounding him, scalping him, or stealing his horse or gun—all these were coups of value. Recital of the deeds was an important social function, and a warrior with many coups held a high status and was honored at feasts, ceremonials, and in the tribe. After warfare had ceased, coups became transferable property, passing from the old men to the younger, who needed coups to acquire warrior status in the tribe.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"coup." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"coup." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/coup

"coup." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/coup

coup

coup / koō/ • n. (pl. coups / koōz/ ) 1. (also coup d'é·tat) a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government. 2. a notable or successful stroke or move. ∎  an unusual or unexpected but successful tactic in card play. 3. hist. (among North American Indians) an act of touching an armed enemy in battle as a deed of bravery, or an act of first touching an item of the enemy's in order to claim it.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"coup." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"coup." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup-0

"coup." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup-0

coup

coup XVIII. — F. (see COPE 2).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"coup." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"coup." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup-1

"coup." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup-1

coup

coupaccrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, screw, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"coup." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"coup." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup

"coup." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved July 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coup