Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

coup - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     coup pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1



    coup d’état

    an occasion when a group of people takes control of a country, usually by means of military force
    a military/army coup:

    There has been a series of military coups since the country gained independence.

    stage/lead/mount a coup:

    A band of young disillusioned officers staged a coup.

    an attempted/failed/abortive coup:

    He was jailed for his part in the attempted coup.

    coup against:

    the 1996 coup against General Abacha

  2. 2
    an impressive and surprising success

    It’s a great coup to get Bjork to perform here.

    a publicity/propaganda/public relations coup:

    This is a major publicity coup for the company.



a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play