1 of 2


couched; couching; couches

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

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


2 of 2


: an article of furniture for sitting or reclining
: a couch on which a patient reclines when undergoing psychoanalysis
: 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
Only 11 engaged in debate or argument and thus reflected any interest in responding to my findings—albeit in responses couched in insults. Allyn Walker, Scientific American, 15 Jan. 2024 Miami couched it as Shula retiring, but that wasn’t the case. Greg Cote, Miami Herald, 1 Feb. 2024 Before Iowa stuck a fork in Meatball Ron, a vote for DeSantis could be couched as a principled vote to oust Trump. Christian Schneider, National Review, 18 Jan. 2024 Ian had learned the answer in law school: a sweeping and uniquely American legal doctrine, often couched in terms of justice for victims’ families, called felony murder. Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 Of course, there’s no way to declare that the Doctor shouldn’t be Black that isn’t out-and-out racist, and so many of these comments are couched in attacks on the producers for wokeness or virtue signaling. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 22 Dec. 2023 But the humor is embedded in a far darker tale that, couched in the frame of a kids’ investigative adventure, opens out onto the hidden terrors of the monsters from the Upside Down. David Benedict, Variety, 14 Dec. 2023 Great wealth is celebrated, too, though usually couched in more palatable terms, such as influence, public service or philanthropy. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2023 Republicans against school choice have largely couched their opposition by asserting that rural areas have few private options and need strong public schools. John Tillman, WSJ, 30 Nov. 2023
Her post also included the final alternate cover of the forthcoming album, which is a photo of the singer lounging on a light colored couch while donning a red dress. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, 17 Feb. 2024 Or try this best-selling handheld vacuum that’ll make cleaning car seats and couch cushions a breeze. Clara McMahon, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 Other potential ways to add novelty include sharing a new hobby or getting dressed up for monthly date nights, instead of ordering takeout and eating it on the couch. Jenna Ryu, SELF, 16 Feb. 2024 Fire up the grill, break out the tailgate recipes, and settle on the couch with all your favorite Super Bowl snack foods. Trisha Garcia-Easto, Sacramento Bee, 12 Feb. 2024 Dads are celebrating as their daughters are now are sitting on the couch with them on Sunday learning about football. Sandy Carter, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Besides her and Bill Prady, there was Jessica Queller (One Tree Hill), who spent a good portion of the time under a blanket on the couch. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2024 Or, skip the picnic and snuggle up on the couch while dreaming of warmer days in a Mediterranean climate. Ellen Fort, Saveur, 8 Feb. 2024 Comfortable enough to lounge on the couch in with just the right amount of compression to hug you through every yoga pose, these leggings are versatile and oh-so soft. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'couch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near couch

Cite this Entry

“Couch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to lie down for rest or sleep
: to bring down : lower
a knight charging with couched lance
: to phrase in a specified manner
a letter couched in polite terms


2 of 2 noun
: a piece of furniture (as a sofa) that one can sit or lie on

Medical Definition


1 of 2 transitive verb
: to treat (a cataract or a person who has a cataract) by displacing the lens of the eye into the vitreous body


2 of 2 noun
: an article of furniture used (as by a patient undergoing psychoanalysis) for sitting or reclining

More from Merriam-Webster on couch

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