\ ˈkau̇ch How to pronounce couch (audio) \
couched; couching; couches

Definition of couch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to lay (oneself) down for rest or sleep The lion couched himself by a tree.
2 : to embroider (a design) by laying down a thread and fastening it with small stitches at regular intervals
3 : to place or hold level and pointed forward ready for use Couching his lance, he seated himself firmly in his saddle …— W. Somerset Maugham
4 : to phrase or express in a specified manner The comments were couched in strong terms.

intransitive verb

1 : to lie down or recline for sleep or rest the odd way a camel couches
2 : to lie in ambush The tiger couches in the thick grass, watching its prey move closer.



Definition of couch (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an article of furniture for sitting or reclining
b : a couch on which a patient reclines when undergoing psychoanalysis
2 : the den of an animal (such as an otter)
on the couch
: receiving psychoanalytic treatment

Examples of couch in a Sentence

Verb I'm trying to couch this delicately: I don't think we should date anymore. I couched behind the partition so as to avoid an awkward situation with my ex. Noun find yourself a place on the couch and make yourself at home
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Enjoy new and old sounds in the cool comfort of churches and cathedrals, bask in the classics at concert and opera halls, or couch it with a couple of high-quality live streams. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 There comes a point, though, where irony hits its limit: No one can couch what Wood describes as rape in edgy quotation marks. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2022 However, family crowds have been slow to return to cinemas because young children have only recently been able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, so Paramount wanted to couch ticket sales while boosting its nascent streaming service in the process. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 14 Nov. 2021 The statement expresses unusually hard-hitting sentiments for a group of scholars, who typically prefer to couch their opinions in the cautious language of academia. Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes, 1 June 2021 And people tend to couch these compliments with denying aging. Kathleen Newman-bremang,, 17 May 2021 But that doesn’t include those who couch surf — staying a night or two with friends and family — or who had collected enough money to pay for a motel room the night of the count. Liz Hardaway,, 10 Jan. 2021 While the Air Force had tried to couch the recent demonstration as being about reconnaissance, in the training exercise that reconnaissance helped select targets for a missile strike. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 21 Dec. 2020 But in years past, when addressing their social media audiences, many were content to couch their political opinions in platitudes about the importance of natural spaces. Gregory Thomas,, 1 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brown fell asleep on the couch waiting for that call. La Risa R. Lynch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 May 2022 Maria answered the door as her husband, Jorrit, loafed on the couch in front of the television. New York Times, 13 May 2022 Our testers love that this cooling mat is easy to set up and can be placed anywhere around your house: on the floor, in your dog's crate, on the couch or even inside a different dog bed. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, 13 May 2022 Barrymore has had a seat on the couch for the evolution of the form as a regular on the talk show circuit for the better part of the past four decades. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 5 May 2022 Undetected, unfed ticks on a pet can end up in your bed or couch at home. Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Apr. 2022 All of the rooms are also outfitted with long wooden desks and chairs (so no working from the couch or bed, although the latter is extremely comfy here, so you might be tempted). Rachel King, Fortune, 3 Apr. 2022 Throughout western Ukraine, where Russian shelling is less regular, every bed and couch is occupied as virtually everyone helps host and feed the unending stream of refugees who arrive each day from the east. Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2022 Whether used next to the bath, living room couch or bed, this cordless diffuser makes a sleek addition to any bedtime routine. Anna Haines, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'couch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of couch


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for couch


Middle English, from Anglo-French cucher, from Latin collocare to set in place — more at collocate


Middle English couche bed, from Anglo-French kuche, from cucher

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best upholstery cleaners.

Learn More About couch

Time Traveler for couch

Time Traveler

The first known use of couch was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near couch




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for couch

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Couch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for couch


\ ˈkau̇ch How to pronounce couch (audio) \

Kids Definition of couch

: a long piece of furniture that a person can sit or lie on


transitive verb
\ ˈkau̇ch How to pronounce couch (audio) \

Medical Definition of couch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to treat (a cataract or a person who has a cataract) by displacing the lens of the eye into the vitreous body



Medical Definition of couch (Entry 2 of 2)

: an article of furniture used (as by a patient undergoing psychoanalysis) for sitting or reclining
on the couch
: receiving psychiatric treatment

More from Merriam-Webster on couch

Nglish: Translation of couch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of couch for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about couch


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!