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 couple (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 couple (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 In flashback scenes that feel like snippets from a great rom-com, Strong and Key are seen falling for each other in a flood of affection and then dealing with the frustrations every couple faces once things get realistic. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 17 July 2021 Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key play a couple whose rocky relationship gets tested when they're trapped in a city engaged in an ongoing musical. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 To my right, an employee asked medical questions to a couple who had not filled out the form in advance. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 On May 24, Brookline police officers were contacted by a couple who said that they had been exposed to a bat that was flying in their bedroom., 16 July 2021 While having an openly gay couple was already a milestone for Disney, the pair would soon be making even more history. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 16 July 2021 Plus: Notes from the draft, a couple key returnees from injury and another glance ahead to the trade deadline. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 July 2021 Kardashian and Barker seemed to finally confirm their couple status on Instagram in a simple post, two days after Valentine's Day. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 16 July 2021 Say a married couple with two children over age 5 and $220,000 of income got a $500 refund for 2020. Laura Saunders, WSJ, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cinco and Will’s arrival on the first night spelled trouble for two men, as they were allowed to couple up with any woman at the end of Episode 2. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 14 July 2021 Every few days, the Islanders must couple up — those who fail to find a partner risk being dumped from the island. Ally Mauch,, 7 July 2021 Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kevin Faulconer released a plan to address homelessness on Tuesday that would couple the creation of more shelters across California with significantly stricter enforcement of no-camping laws in public spaces. Ari Plachta, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021 The Hawaiian islands provide the backdrop for the third season of the series (CBS, 9:30 EDT/PDT) in which singles couple up, hoping to find love and avoid ejection from paradise. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 24 June 2021 Use data as inspiration, but couple it with human insight to make an impact. Grant Mcdougall, Forbes, 10 May 2021 In their letter, House Democrats stressed that Congress must couple any new federal loans, grants or tax benefits to improve the country’s infrastructure with a series of policy mandates to help workers. Author: Tony Romm, Seung Min Kim, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2021 Some are universally relatable — Ha’ani Hogan shares the emotional toll of the pressure to couple up, Elizabeth Brendel Horn muses on body image. Matthew J. Palm,, 17 May 2021 The president is also trying to couple his infrastructure plan with a proposal focused on health care, child care, and education — upwards of $4 trillion in investments. Grace Segers, CBS News, 30 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective BayHaven Restaurant Group is planning to open a couple new places in the next two or three years and many more restaurants beyond that. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 2 June 2021 Urías, who's been making starts at third base against left-handed pitching, shook off a couple high throws to Hiura at first base earlier in the game. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 May 2021 Eventually, as Anna’s belly swells, the non-couple pick out nursery room colors and attend birthing sessions together. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 9 May 2021 With only five healthy receivers and two quarterbacks available, Smith decided to pare the 11-on-11 competition down to five red-zone series, and a couple two-minute drills. oregonlive, 8 May 2021 Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas took couple goals to the next level this weekend. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Apr. 2021 All that would be needed is a couple Republican votes in the Senate, and for Trump to sign on — and several conservative senators like Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) got behind the bipartisan bill Thursday afternoon. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, 3 Dec. 2020 Amid the exquisiteness are just a couple minor missteps. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, 18 Nov. 2020 All the sales will have great deals on electronics, but in terms of other product categories, each event has a couple different focus areas. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, 5 Nov. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near couple




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Statistics for couple

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on couple

Nglish: Translation of couple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of couple for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about couple


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