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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.


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: 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
Deputies later found the mountain lion couching near Taylen and determined the 21-year-old did not survive the attack. Chris Biderman, Sacramento Bee, 7 July 2024 Administrative law The court’s conservative majority, ruling 6-3 in three of the four cases, couched its decisions as a necessary step to reassert the judiciary’s responsibility to check the executive branch on Congress’ behalf. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 4 July 2024
The Texas native surprised her co-anchors on the couch donning a Santa hat, a dress in the style of a Chiefs’ jersey (Travis Kelce’s jersey to be exact), waving a stack of papers. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, 11 July 2024 This couch has all the makings of the perfect Amazon buy. Erika Owen, Architectural Digest, 10 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for couch 

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 15 Jul. 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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