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coup (noun) a sudden, violent, and often illegal attempt by citizens or by the armed forces to remove a government or the head of the state from power; an impressive achievement.
If a government or the head of a state is suddenly removed from power, as a result of the people or the military overthrowing it or him, the government is removed in a coup. Saddam Hussein of Iraq seized power in a military coup, that is, he assumed power in Iraq by overthrowing the government and by removing the then ruler, by leading a sudden, violent, and successful attack on the ruler. The same thing happened in Myanmar, former Burma, when a military Junta overthrew the government in a coup. An impressive achievement is also a coup. When you pull off a coup, you achieve really a great thing, perhaps suddenly. 'Our getting an upset win and making it to the finals is a real coup.' This means that our team has achieved the almost impossible task of reaching the finals.
- Most Asian and African countries that became free along with India from the British colonial rule changed from democracies to dictatorships in coups mostly by military commanders who succeeded in overthrowing popularly elected governments.
- The unseeded player brought off a real coup by defeating his high-seeded opponent in two straight sets, which was a stunning and real achievement for an almost new player.