Coup-de-grace



[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/

noun, plural coups de grâce
[kooduh grahs] /kudə ˈgrɑs/ (Show IPA). French.
1.
a death blow, especially one delivered mercifully to end suffering.
2.
any finishing or decisive stroke.
/ku də ɡrɑs/
noun (pl) coups de grâce (ku də ɡrɑs)
1.
a mortal or finishing blow, esp one delivered as an act of mercy to a sufferer
2.
a final or decisive stroke
n.

1690s, from French coup de grâce, literally “stroke of grace;” the merciful death-blow that ends another’s suffering (see coup).
coup de grâce [(kooh duh grahs)]

The final blow: “He had been getting deeper and deeper in debt; the fates delivered the coup de grâce when he died.” The phrase is French for “stroke of mercy.” It originally referred to the merciful stroke that put a fatally wounded person out of his misery or to the shot delivered to the head of a prisoner after he had faced a firing squad.

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