coup de grâce


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Related to coup de grâce: coup d'etat

coup de grâce

An action or event that brings a swift end to suffering or a worsening situation. The phrase is French for "blow of mercy." The samurai delivered a merciful coup de grâce to his mortally wounded enemy. The large class action lawsuit was the coup de grâce that caused the failing company to finally go out of business.
See also: coup, DE, grace