from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim.
- noun A finishing stroke or decisive event.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A final
blowor shotgiven to killa wounded person or animal.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
[French : coup, stroke + de, of + grâce, mercy.]
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Late 17th century, from French coup de grâce ("finishing blow"). Originally referring to a merciful stroke putting a fatally wounded person out of misery or to the shot delivered to the head of a prisoner after facing a firing squad.
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