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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There are also a couple of poetry collections and a children’s book about a ship dog on Lake Michigan. Ellen Piligian, Detroit Free Press, "Poetry, a cookbook and reflections on Detroit history make Michigan Notable Books list," 19 Jan. 2020 Along the way, Devon Kennard picked up a couple of college degrees, a bachelor's in communications and a master's in marketing. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee Devon Kennard wants to make impact at home," 16 Jan. 2020 Yavorsky said there were a couple of possible explanations. Jena Mcgregor, Washington Post, "The shock of unemployment may push men into jobs traditionally held by women, study shows," 15 Jan. 2020 The fast-roofed X6's rear seat is just a couple of inches of head- and legroom shy of the X5's accommodations, yet still surprisingly spacious with four aboard. Scott Oldham, Car and Driver, "The Right Amount of M," 14 Jan. 2020 The two have refrained from criticizing one another throughout the race so far (although there's been a couple of small battles between the campaigns), so the script comes across as a bit of a surprise. TheWeek, "Bernie Sanders' campaign is reportedly saying Elizabeth Warren can't bring any 'new bases' to the Democratic Party," 12 Jan. 2020 Yet, there were still a couple of Bengals who stood out. Tyler Dragon,, "All-AFC North Team: Tight end," 11 Jan. 2020 Multi-stream and broadcast audio Improved battery life and audio quality via LC3 are the big-ticket items, but there are a couple of other notable improvements, too. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "New Bluetooth standard copies best features of Apple, Qualcomm’s proprietary tech," 9 Jan. 2020 Fortunately, there are a couple of quick, affordable solutions to this messy problem, and just about anyone can do it themselves. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Hide a TV's Unsightly Wires," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Attorney Lee Merritt said Saturday that a confusing layout on the upper floors, coupled with a faulty door mechanism, created circumstances that led to Jean’s death in September 2018. Loyd Brumfield, Dallas News, "Botham Jean’s family plans lawsuit against apartment complex where Amber Guyger shot him," 18 Jan. 2020 But the use of a new app by an unidentified developer, coupled with the high stakes of the contests, has concerned some observers. Ryan J. Foley,, "Amid hacking fears, key caucus states to use app for results," 18 Jan. 2020 Nomura economists calculate the trade war, coupled with slower global growth, shaved 1 percentage point off China’s 2019 GDP figure. Chao Deng, WSJ, "China’s Slowing Growth Underlines Stress Facing Its Economy in 2020," 17 Jan. 2020 The skull analyses coupled with archaeological artifacts—such as stone tools and additional pottery—helped the researchers identify three migrant groups: a group from the Yucatán Peninsula, the Arawaks, and the Caribs. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Was Columbus Right About Cannibals in the New World?," 15 Jan. 2020 These newest reports, coupled with a Dec. 1 show at NYCB Live, Home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, push Phish’s reported career gross past the half-billion mark, totaling $507.6 million and 11.4 million tickets sold. Eric Frankenberg, Billboard, "Phish Clears $50 Million With New Year's Eve Return to Madison Square Garden," 14 Jan. 2020 The nerve damage, coupled with scoliosis that was diagnosed, impaired Mr. Waller’s mobility. Elisha Brown, New York Times, "Longing for Stability After a Childhood Spent in Hospitals," 14 Jan. 2020 And on the coast, 30-foot waves coupled with an unusually high tide led to savage scenes and tragedy after a Portland family was swept out to sea, leaving a seven-year-old girl dead and her four-year-old brother missing. oregonlive, "With snow in the forecast, Portland hit with winter weather advisory," 13 Jan. 2020 The robust market, coupled with low interest rates, is good news for the many people who will be moving to the Houston area and purchasing homes in the coming months. Michelle Sandlin, Houston Chronicle, "On the Move: HAR chair Nugent discusses opportunities for people moving to Houston — Part 1," 11 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Photos included cute couple moments with her hubby, Jay-Z, newborns Rumi and Sir, and the singer striking power stances in must-have summer pieces. Nandi Howard, Essence, "We Want Everything Beyonce Wore This Summer," 20 Sep. 2019 Municipalities across America are getting ravaged by ransomware attacks, most recently a couple dozen cities in Texas. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Even After Capital One’s Breach, Don’t Doubt the Cloud—Cyber Saturday," 24 Aug. 2019 The Saturday family activities such as face painting were held at the library and Sunday featured a variety of music in the recreation center’s field along with a car show from Cruisin’ Westlake of a couple dozen classic cars. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Third annual Westlake Music Festival brings back memories," 16 Aug. 2019 Don Hein, the owner of Little Cakes Cupcake Kitchen in Vista Village, donated a couple dozen cupcakes to the painting crew. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Neighbors pitch in to rescue historic Vista business from taggers," 14 Aug. 2019 Decades of attrition had reduced a flock that once regularly packed the pews to their 300-person limit to just a couple dozen faithful, most of them middle-aged or elderly. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Trona Catholics kept the faith as their town declined. Then, two earthquakes shook their ‘gem in the desert’," 5 Aug. 2019 Each month, the Michigan Strategic Fund awards tax breaks to another couple dozen projects aimed at spurring business growth. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Tax breaks for development provoke controversy and conflicting visions of impact," 30 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about couple

Time Traveler for couple

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for couple

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on couple

What made you want to look up couple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!