Word of the Day


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A coup (coup d’état) is when power is illegally seized from the government of a country by sudden and often violent means.

Venezuela’s political unrest was inflamed further on Tuesday when a police helicopter was used to attack a government ministry and the Supreme Court building in Caracas, the country’s capital.

President Nicolas Maduro defined the incident as an attack by terrorists attempting a coup. Officials reported that four grenades were dropped from the helicopter onto the court building where a meeting of judges was in progress, and several shots were fired at the Interior Ministry building where a social gathering was taking place. Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack.

The President’s popularity has declined in recent months with opposition leaders seeing him as a dictator who has wrecked the oil-rich state’s economy.


1. coup or 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.

a. an occasion when someone suddenly gains control in an organization
a boardroom coup

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.

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