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 The couple, who have been delivering food for DoorDash to earn additional money in preparation for the benefits cutoff, damaged their car on a recent delivery. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 10 June 2021 The couple, continually plagued by their fear and loathing of secrets, end their relationship not with an implosion, but rather a mature cuddling session in bed. Devon Ivie, Vulture, 10 June 2021 The billionaire couple, in less than a decade, have accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, more than the entire acreage of New York City. NBC News, 9 June 2021 The couple married in New York City in 1953 and moved to Vancouver, where Mr. Oberlander became a professor of city planning at the University of British Columbia. New York Times, 9 June 2021 The couple, who did not have children, met and began dating while in the San Diego police academy in 2012 and married in 2016. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 June 2021 An arriving officer talked to the couple, who said a woman took money from them. John Benson, cleveland, 9 June 2021 Yet Clark was eager to return after sparking UCLA’s 14-point comeback against Michigan State in the NCAA tournament with a couple of assists, an offensive rebound and a layup. Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2021 This 2021 class, one of the most talented and deep All-Stars teams in recent years, wants to go out with a couple of victories against Kentucky. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Is this ghostly couple our guide to the proceedings to follow? Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2021 To maximize efficiencies, the lab wants to couple its efforts with other endeavors such as desalination and the creation of potable water. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 11 Apr. 2021 When the technology gear changes, the process will shift and people will need to couple with these changes. Spiros Liolis, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 Others may couple up to create new luxury conglomerates, as appears to be the case with Moncler’s Stone Island deal. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 21 Dec. 2020 More than 30 years later, the power and limitations of Ms. Harris’s instinct to couple insider politics with her lens as a Black woman and first-generation American are on display as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s running mate. New York Times, 14 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 On the bright side, quarterback Brandon Peters had a couple nice runs and finished with seven carries for 75 yards. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 25 Oct. 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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Statistics for couple

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 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


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