The coronavirus spike glycoprotein attaches to host receptors and mediates viral fusion. Using a broad screening approach, we isolated seven monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind to all human-infecting coronavirus spike proteins from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immune donors. These mAbs recognize the fusion peptide and acquire affinity and breadth through somatic mutations. Despite targeting a conserved motif, only some mAbs show broad neutralizing activity in vitro against alpha- and betacoronaviruses, including animal coronaviruses WIV-1 and PDF-2180. Two selected mAbs also neutralize Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 authentic viruses and reduce viral burden and pathology in vivo. Structural and functional analyses showed that the fusion peptide-specific mAbs bound with different modalities to a cryptic epitope hidden in prefusion stabilized spike, which became exposed upon binding of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) or ACE2-mimicking mAbs.