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 The Litehisers brought the group past murky Yosemite Marsh, down to McNab Lake near the northern edge of the park to show off the lake, the birds that thrive there and a mosaic built by more than 75 artists and neighbors a couple of years ago. Carl Nolte,, "John McLaren Park had a bad reputation. But that was then," 15 Feb. 2020 The always-stylish couple were perfectly coordinated in red and white for the romantic holiday. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Best Celebrity Valentine's Day 2020 Instagrams," 15 Feb. 2020 Through Facebook, Dion and Adler were able to get in touch with the couple who currently own the Polley plantation and arrange for a visit. Benjamin Lima, Dallas News, "‘The Perilous Texas Adventures of Mark Dion’ is unlike any other art exhibition," 14 Feb. 2020 The organization opened its first office in the Cy-Fair area with just a couple of counselors, but eventually grew to about a dozen. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Shield Bearer opens ninth counseling office in Spring Branch," 13 Feb. 2020 The couple met as students at Messiah College, a Christian school near Harrisburg. USA Today, "‘The tongue is a fire’: Southern Baptist church fractures over secrets and spiritual abuse," 13 Feb. 2020 The couple was pinned between it and the wall for hours. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Getting intimate at the Condor," 13 Feb. 2020 Although there are significant visual differences, the features are nearly identical, with just a couple of exceptions. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Smart Locks for Your Home or Rental Property," 10 Feb. 2020 The couple of 23 years shared a sweet PDA moment that took place behind the scenes. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Everyone Missed Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos's Epic PDA Moment at the 2020 Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That, coupled with his focus on finally arriving in the major leagues, is what played into his attempts to play through his injury. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta looks for big things after adding slider to repertoire," 15 Feb. 2020 But hope for a potential peace agreement is coupled with deep fears that a U.S. troop departure could open the way to the Taliban regaining power and returning the country to the brutal repression that characterized their rule in the 1990s. NBC News, "U.S. and Taliban agree to 7-day reduction in violence, U.S. official says," 14 Feb. 2020 The fallout from the Roger Stone sentencing controversy, coupled with general post-impeachment uneasiness, is boosting tensions at the Department of Justice. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for February 13: Coronavirus, Justice, 2020 Dems, Israel, oil spill," 13 Feb. 2020 How often in league history has a 297-plus shot season been coupled with a shooting percentage of 5.7% or lower by a forward? Matthew Defranks, Dallas News, "Matt’s Mail: Breaking down Tyler Seguin’s goal drought, next year’s roster and more," 6 Feb. 2020 The dog park of phase one coupled Biedenharn's dream with Lauren's love of dogs and animals. Alex Harrison,, "Group raises funds for Greendale memorial park honoring Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill," 16 Jan. 2020 By 2019, young radicals resorted to violent street actions coupled with harsh anti-Beijing rhetoric. David Skidmore, The Conversation, "China can still salvage ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong – here’s how," 6 Jan. 2020 That, coupled with a high-fever spike, prompted Audrey to take Ember to the E.R. for answers. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey Roloff Shares Important Instagram Update on Ember Following Emergency Room Visit," 26 Dec. 2019 That’s coupled with his and a team-wide lack of experience on the biggest of stages. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Pioneer Press Big Ten football bowl picks," 26 Dec. 2019 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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of probity?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!