The expression coup de grâce
(icon; ku də ɡʁɑs, "blow of mercy") means a death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....
blow intended to end the suffering of a wounded creature. The phrase can refer to the killing of civilians or soldiers, friends or enemies, with or without the consent of the sufferer. It is often used figuratively to describe the last in a series of events which brings about the end of some entity; for example: "The business had been failing for years; the coup de grâce
was the sudden jump in oil prices."
In the context of an execution, it means shooting the heart or head (typically the back of the skull
In vertebrate anatomy the brainstem is the posterior part of the brain, adjoining and structurally continuous with the spinal cord. The brain stem provides the main motor and sensory innervation to the face and neck via the cranial nerves...
) of an already wounded, but not yet dead, person during a military or civilian execution. It can also refer to the near beheading that follows a samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...
time, it can also be used to refer to the shooting (or other killing) of a seriously wounded person, either friendly or enemy, who is not expected to live or for whom medical aid cannot be obtained.
In countries that authorize executions by firing squads, a coup de grâce
can be administered if the first hail of gunfire fails to kill the prisoner.
- Animal euthanasia
Animal euthanasia is the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, an animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress...
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....
- Firing squad