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

Example Sentences

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
Eric Kaufmann is not sloppy with detail, and tends to couch assertions carefully. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 21 Oct. 2010 As an emerging artist, who couch surfed and performed for pennies, Baby Tate produced all her songs exclusively, sparing money for studio time. Walaa Elsiddig, Billboard, 20 Sep. 2022 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
So Ted sits on the couch in her office and asks if teams that are relegated can be un-relegated. Phillip Maciak, The New Republic, 15 Mar. 2023 Although your dog may choose to kip on the hard floor or hop up on the couch, having a good dog bed is still a great idea to give your pup somewhere that's theirs and theirs alone. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 14 Mar. 2023 In the first photo of the carousel, Thompson is seen gazing lovingly at his and Kardashian's baby son while embracing daughter True and his son Prince, 6, on the couch (Thompson shares Prince with ex Jordan Craig). Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 Mar. 2023 March is a special time for college basketball fans, who kick back on the couch for days to watch the two-week NCAA tournament known as March Madness. Christine Mai-duc, WSJ, 12 Mar. 2023 There are family videos of her asleep on the couch while one of her dad’s bands was rehearsing in the living room. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 10 Mar. 2023 Yorn wasn’t rattled, but Presley, sitting on the couch next to him, leapt up. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 10 Mar. 2023 So, get the popcorn ready and snuggle up on the couch, because this list of the best Christian movies on Netflix is guaranteed to keep both your queue and your heart full for days to come. Ni'kesia Pannell, Woman's Day, 9 Mar. 2023 Whether there are crumbs caught between couch cushions or dirt stuck on the carpeting inside your car, opt for a handheld vacuum that gets into those nooks and crannies where debris may be lingering for an easy clean. Casey Clark, Peoplemag, 23 Feb. 2023 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.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

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

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