cou·ple | \ˈkə-pəl; "couple of" is often ˌkə-plə(v)\

Definition of couple 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : two persons married, engaged, or otherwise romantically paired

b : two persons paired together The people were lined up in couples.

2 : pair, brace needed a couple of bookends

3 : something that joins or links two things together: such as

a : two equal and opposite forces that act along parallel lines

b : a pair of substances that in contact with an electrolyte (see electrolyte sense 1) participate in a transfer of electrons which causes an electric current to flow

4 : an indefinite small number : few a couple of days ago


cou·ple | \ˈkə-pəl \
coupled; coupling\ˈkə-p(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of couple (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to connect for consideration together

b : to join for combined effect

2a : to fasten together : link

b : to bring (two electric circuits) into such close proximity as to permit mutual influence

3 : to join in marriage or sexual union

intransitive verb

1 : to unite in sexual union

2 : join

3 : to unite chemically



Definition of couple (Entry 3 of 3)

: two also : few used with a a couple drinks

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Other Words from couple


coupledom \ˈkə-pəl-dəm \ noun

Is couple an adjective?: Usage Guide


The adjective use of a couple, without of, has been called nonstandard, but it is not. In both British and American English it is standard before a word (such as more or less) indicating degree. a couple more examples of Middle English writing — Charles Barber Its use before an ordinary plural noun is an Americanism, common in speech and in writing that is not meant to be formal or elevated. the first couple chapters are pretty good — E. B. White (letter) still operated a couple wagons for hire — Garrison Keillor It is most frequently used with periods of time a couple weeks and numbers. a couple hundred a couple dozen

Examples of couple in a Sentence


“Are they a couple?” “No, they are just good friends.” Seventeen couples participated in the survey.


a device that makes it possible to couple the pieces The coils are loosely coupled. The wire is coupled to the terminal. It took an hour to couple the trailer to the truck.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Why, a couple of reserves were from Grgas’ hometown of Sibenik, and midfielder Luka Modric was from a town 45 minutes away. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: Will the World Cup and morning TV end with a Croatian surprise? | Commentary," 14 July 2018 Michael Jordan Flight School, as our camp was called, promised daily appearances from the great man himself, who had established the program a couple of years earlier. Angelica Baker, Vogue, "Going One-on-One with Greatness at Michael Jordan’s Summer Camp," 13 July 2018 Among these group was number of men who drove down from Muscle Beach in Venice, Calif., a couple of years ago to view a Steve Reeves exhibit. J. Harry Jones,, "Small Valley Center history museum draws big crowds," 13 July 2018 The winning bidders for the intellectual property will be disclosed a couple of days later. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Zoo’s efforts to ‘adopt’ Toys R Us mascot might be a stretch," 13 July 2018 There were a couple of times when goal scorers did somersaults. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The World Cup of Boring Celebrations," 13 July 2018 By Susan Ardis Urgent Vet Pet Clinic, with offices in Belmont, North Carolina, and Fort Mill, South Carolina, sees a couple of such cases a month, veterinarian Jim Dobies told Spectrum News Charlotte. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "‘They stumble around and pee on themselves.’ Pets on pot treated in higher numbers," 12 July 2018 Nike's experiment comes amid a sporting-goods retail meltdown over past couple of years that saw the demise of several once high-flying chains, including Sports Authority, Golfsmith and Sports Chalet, as enthusiasts shifted to online shopping. David Pan, USA TODAY, "Can you 'crowdsource' a store? Nike is about to find out," 12 July 2018 Until a couple of years ago, Jordan Rome saw herself only in front of the camera, not behind it. Ariel Parrella-aureli, Chicago Reader, "365 Ways to Kill an American offers a new perspective on police brutality," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This can be a good thing, so long as it is coupled with thoughtful, independent evaluation. Noam N. Levey,, "Medicaid strategy favored by Trump may make care less affordable, new studies indicate," 20 June 2018 Afternoon highs should cluster near 90 degrees Sunday and, coupled with dew points in the 70s, peak afternoon heat indexes should reach the middle and upper 90s. Tom Skilling,, "Warm and muggy through Monday, then comfortably cooler," 14 July 2018 Those ambitions, coupled with a fatalistic world view that places little value on human life or individual rights makes Putin a very dangerous man. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Fox News Power Rankings: Hello, Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 That length, coupled with guard-like footspeed and mobility, propelled Bamba to averages of 10.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocks as a Texas freshman. San Antonio Express-News, "The Bamba Project is still in early stages," 11 July 2018 Paragon said that a surge in both the asking prices for homes and the bids being placed by buyers, coupled with a multi-year decline in the number of homes listed for sale, have contributed to the surge in prices. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "San Francisco's Home Prices Soared an Average of $205,000 in the Past 6 Months," 6 July 2018 Happy Endings Here's a show with the talking speed of an episode of Gilmore Girls coupled with the raft of obscure cultural references and puns of an episode of... Tom Philip, GQ, "The Best Movies/TV to Stream on Hulu This July 4," 3 July 2018 The primary focus is obviously deportations, coupled with other policies to keep migrants from entering the country. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Despite Hyper-Aggressive Rhetoric, Trump’s MS-13 Strategy Isn’t Very Comprehensive," 3 July 2018 The high, curtained windows of the parlor, coupled with the somber tones of the audience’s Victorian dress, suggested to her a John Singer Sargent portrait; fittingly, the folds of the sheer black veil fall over Gadon’s face like broad brushstrokes. Sonia Saraiya, HWD, "A Look Beneath the Veil of Alias Grace’s Showstopping Hypnotism," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Weatherly said the couple dozen units operated in Milwaukee are used as a test site close to the founders. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee startup Frontdesk provides corporate housing for business travelers," 1 July 2018 After almost one whole month of dating, SNL star Pete Davidson and singer Ariana Grande — couple name: Grandson — announced this week that they were engaged. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Jeweler Reveals New Details About Ariana Grande’s Engagement Ring," 13 June 2018 Fri 7/6- Sat 7/7: Fabled D.C. gospel yeh-yeh band the Make-Up play a couple rare reunion shows. Katie Powers, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This / Music / Film Avenue Q at Mercury Theater and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend," 6 July 2018 Kit Harington and Rose Leslie made their couple debut onscreen as Game of Thrones' Jon Snow and Ygritte the Wildling years ago. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Wedding: Everything You Need to Know," 22 June 2018 That’s usually what happens when you couple talent with hard work. Dennis Lin,, "Padres mailbag: What's to be gained from Hunter Renfroe's demotion?," 21 Aug. 2017 For 10 wonderful months, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd gave us couple goals inspiration. Erin Reimel, Glamour, "The Weeknd Got Emotional at Coachella While Performing His Song About Selena Gomez," 14 Apr. 2018 Five Churches Brewing opened its doors Friday to an eager line of beer aficionados, and within the first hour drew a crowd of 125 — just a couple dozen short of full capacity. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Five Churches Brewing Joins Drive To Make New Britain A Craft Beer Hub," 30 Mar. 2018 That bio-mass is really more of a bio-film, a thin skin of biology that can reach no further than perhaps a couple dozen miles below ground and a couple dozen into the sky (airborne microbes account for the flying population). Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "A New TV Series Will Make You Believe the Earth Is an Organism," 23 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of couple


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1924, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for couple


Middle English, pair, bond, from Anglo-French cuple, from Latin copula bond, from co- + apere to fasten — more at apt


see couple entry 1


see couple entry 1

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Learn More about couple

Statistics for couple

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for couple

The first known use of couple was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for couple



English Language Learners Definition of couple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: two people who are married or who have a romantic or sexual relationship

: two people or things that are together



English Language Learners Definition of couple (Entry 2 of 2)

: to join (two things) together

: to join (something) to something else


cou·ple | \ˈkəp-əl \

Kids Definition of couple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : two people who are married or in a romantic relationship

2 : two people or things paired together Line up in couples.

3 : two things that are of the same kind or that are thought of together It cost a couple of dollars. A couple of strange things happened today.


coupled; coupling

Kids Definition of couple (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to join or link together : connect Workers coupled freight cars.

2 : to join in pairs

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Comments on couple

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