cou·​ple | \ ˈkə-pəl How to pronounce couple (audio) ; "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 How to pronounce couple (audio) \
coupled; coupling\ ˈkə-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce coupling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce coupledom (audio) \ 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

Noun “Are they a couple?” “No, they are just good friends.” Seventeen couples participated in the survey. Verb 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 JP Tirone, 27 of Southwest Ranches, spends weekends on Lake Boca a couple times a month. Karina Elwood,, "Lake Boca’s party-happy boaters are raising COVID-19 concerns," 8 Aug. 2020 Before the storm, Tom and Mary Lou, a couple from Wethersfield, gave their generator to their son, who lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Michael Hamad,, "Powerless and alone: How the coronavirus trumps togetherness in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias," 7 Aug. 2020 Antetokounmpo then threw down a couple highlight dunks that sparked a 20-0 run late in the game to seal the victory. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bucks 130, Heat 116: Roaring to life in the second half," 7 Aug. 2020 In May 2019, another couple in Mongolia died from the plague after eating the raw kidney of a marmot, thought to be a folk remedy for good health. Nectar Gan And Jessie Yeung, CNN, "China seals off village after bubonic plague death in Inner Mongolia," 7 Aug. 2020 The firm, founded in 2004, is owned by married couple Leslie Harris, who is Black, and Ken Kupfer, who is white. Tatyana Turner,, "Amid pandemic, Baltimore’s Black-owned businesses struggle — but some are finding new support," 7 Aug. 2020 Contributing editor John Pearley Huffman is also on the panel and surprises us with a couple great choices. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "We Find the Best European Cars Never Sold in the U.S.: Window Shop with Car and Driver," 7 Aug. 2020 We were seated in a booth across from another couple who appeared to be in their 40s. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Composite photo of Brunswick middle schools is a fitting memorial: Whit & Whimsey," 7 Aug. 2020 Supernova, Macqueen's follow-up to his celebrated debut Hinterland, stars Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci as Sam and Tusker, a gay couple, together for 20 years, traveling across the English countryside on holiday. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "San Sebastian Film Festival Adds 'Supernova', Shane MacGowan Doc to Competition," 6 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These changes in routine, coupled with unstructured free time, make recovery more difficult for them. Popular Science, "COVID-19 is setting back recovery from opioid addiction," 23 May 2020 While some have suggested that birth rates could actually go up due to the pandemic, as a result of decreased access to birth control and abortions coupled with more free time at home, most are wary of such predictions. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "U.S. births fall to a 35-year low," 20 May 2020 Having an iPhone coupled with the ingenuity of our crew, allowed us to make this unique piece of television in just days. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Game devs hold virtual meeting from hell in Mythic Quest: Quarantine teaser," 15 May 2020 The strongest protection would be an absolute bar of the sort given to vaccine makers, possibly coupled (as in that case) with a public fund for compensating those who get sick as a result. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, "Reopening the Economy Will Require Lawsuit Protection," 22 Apr. 2020 The sudden shift from restaurant dining to at-home eating, coupled with panic buying at grocery stores, is causing major disruption in the manufacturing, distribution and sales of food products. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Meat shortage 2020: Coronavirus has led Smithfield, other plants to close, farmers to dump milk," 16 Apr. 2020 Glowing reviews, coupled with questions from friends and colleagues, initially piqued my curiosity. Jacqueline Kilikita,, "Is Revlon’s One-Step Dryer Really Worth The Hype?," 24 Mar. 2020 Business coupling together, like breweries and food trucks, trying every angle possible to raise awareness and keep some level of income flowing. Matt Wake |, al, "Huntsville breweries amid coronavirus: to-go sales, making hand sanitizer, no more kegs," 23 Mar. 2020 That decrease, coupled with budget cuts, has forced the state to close road maintenance stations. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Senate votes to raise gas tax, but additional highway funding isn’t guaranteed," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Dorsey should be praised here for a couple things: one, for meeting the moment, and dedicating a substantial portion of his wealth to an important cause; two, for doing so transparently, in stark contrast to his past approach to philanthropy. Owen Thomas,, "Jack Dorsey comes out as a philanthropist," 8 Apr. 2020 Normally each of the couple dozen small rooms are filled with pups waiting for a new home. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'People are looking for love': Adoptions of dogs, cats skyrocket during coronavirus pandemic," 20 May 2020 Since the second week of March, my self-quarantine routine has become increasingly finite and fixed: the same waking hours, the same couple dozen scrolls through Twitter, the same Zoom meetings, the same late-night Netflix bingeing. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: What L.A.'s future looks like from New York and my coronavirus time machine," 1 Apr. 2020 Right now Rabrich says that every day the emergency department is fielding a couple dozen calls and five or 10 visits from panicked people wondering if they should get tested for Covid-19. Sara Harrison, Wired, "Worried About Covid-19? Hospitals Have a Request: Stay Home," 9 Mar. 2020 The couple hand-selects the bananas from retailers rather than buying them by the case. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "After nearly a decade, this Anchorage family business is still bananas," 8 Mar. 2020 If that means disappearing for an hour, call it couple time and leave shame at the door. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "My Partner and I Never Have Sex on Trips Anymore," 14 Feb. 2020 The congregation needed its priest, so García asked Aranda to help care for the couple dozen migrants already living in his church, particularly the women, who feared for their safety on the streets. Time, "'Our Work Is Helping People Find Happiness.' Meet the Leftist Nuns Helping Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 7 Jan. 2020 Another day, another cute couple moment from Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Watch Alex Rodriguez Propose to Jennifer Lopez (Again) While They Both Work Out," 21 Nov. 2019

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

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for couple

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for couple

Last Updated

11 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for couple


How to pronounce couple (audio)

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


How to pronounce couple (audio)

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 How to pronounce couple (audio) \

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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