cou·ple | \ ˈkə-pəl ; "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 \
coupled; coupling\ˈkə-p(ə-)liŋ \

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 \ 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


“Are they a couple?” “No, they are just good friends.” Seventeen couples participated in the survey.


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

After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer. John Rogers,, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer. John Rogers,, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer. NBC News, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 The couple hatched the idea to shift the ceremony to January. Bryce Miller,, "Cover your ears: Over-the-Line evolves, but the raunchy team names remain," 14 July 2018 After Sinatra became a pop-music sensation in the 1940s, the couple moved to Los Angeles, where the singer would also become a movie star, raconteur, man about town and notorious womanizer. CBS News, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., Frank Sinatra's first wife, dead at 101," 14 July 2018 Of course, photographers have been following their every move — catching the couple in the midst of multiple PDAs. Dave Quinn,, "Pete Davidson Praises Ariana Grande's Topless Photo as Her Ex Mac Miller Raps About Lost Love," 13 July 2018 Sharon and Rich Patrick cared for Jimi as their son since May 31, 1998, the day the couple brought him to their Newtown home from Doylestown Hospital. Erin Mccarthy,, "Jimi Patrick: A funny, hardworking person who lived to help others," 13 July 2018 The couple were welcomed at the palace in Oxfordshire — about 60 miles outside of London — by Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip, before witnessing a performance by the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards military bands. USA TODAY, "Live in London where protesters are rallying against President Trump's visit to UK," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But eastern European objections, coupled with Mrs Merkel’s weakness, meant little happened. The Economist, "Breaking point: December 2020," 5 July 2018 Organizers said that proposal, coupled with the increases in education funding gained through the budget, would be enough to fully restore the state's decade-long, $1 billion funding shortfall. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "In aftermath of #RedForEd walkout, Arizona teachers vow to continue political activism," 6 May 2018 These details, coupled with social engineering tricks, can gain access to your banking accounts, your social media profiles, and your online services. Kim Komando, Fox News, "7 clear-cut signs you've been hacked," 5 May 2018 If you're not already coupled up, the idea of hooking up with someone totally new can be overwhelming., "What Your Sign Looks For In A Summer Fling," 26 June 2018 Those factors coupled together have led to the population projections in the second half of this century. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Muslims in America, by the numbers," 16 May 2018 Of late, that has been coupled with pressure by the community to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. Eliana Rudee, Jewish Journal, "Multimillion-dollar building for Christian visitors planned near new U.S. embassy," 9 May 2018 The harder workplace questions came from people who were concerned about their partners’ close friends at work, or their own blurry office relationships, assuming they were already coupled. Meredith Goldstein,, "Why I Wish People Would Stop Calling My Best Friend My ‘Work Husband’," 4 Apr. 2018 The bling features both square-cut and pear-cut diamonds, coupled together on what appears to be one band. Dave Quinn,, "Emily Ratajkowski Finally Gets a Mega Two-Stone Engagement Ring - 4 Months After Her Wedding," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Weatherly said the couple dozen units operated in Milwaukee are used as a test site close to the founders. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee startup Frontdesk provides corporate housing for business travelers," 1 July 2018 After almost one whole month of dating, SNL star Pete Davidson and singer Ariana Grande — couple name: Grandson — announced this week that they were engaged. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "Jeweler Reveals New Details About Ariana Grande’s Engagement Ring," 13 June 2018 Fri 7/6- Sat 7/7: Fabled D.C. gospel yeh-yeh band the Make-Up play a couple rare reunion shows. Katie Powers, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Do This / Music / Film Avenue Q at Mercury Theater and more of the best things to do in Chicago this weekend," 6 July 2018 Kit Harington and Rose Leslie made their couple debut onscreen as Game of Thrones' Jon Snow and Ygritte the Wildling years ago. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington and Rose Leslie's Wedding: Everything You Need to Know," 22 June 2018 That’s usually what happens when you couple talent with hard work. Dennis Lin,, "Padres mailbag: What's to be gained from Hunter Renfroe's demotion?," 21 Aug. 2017 For 10 wonderful months, Selena Gomez and The Weeknd gave us couple goals inspiration. Erin Reimel, Glamour, "The Weeknd Got Emotional at Coachella While Performing His Song About Selena Gomez," 14 Apr. 2018 Five Churches Brewing opened its doors Friday to an eager line of beer aficionados, and within the first hour drew a crowd of 125 — just a couple dozen short of full capacity. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Five Churches Brewing Joins Drive To Make New Britain A Craft Beer Hub," 30 Mar. 2018 That bio-mass is really more of a bio-film, a thin skin of biology that can reach no further than perhaps a couple dozen miles below ground and a couple dozen into the sky (airborne microbes account for the flying population). Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "A New TV Series Will Make You Believe the Earth Is an Organism," 23 Mar. 2018

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


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


see couple entry 1


see couple entry 1

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Statistics for couple

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for couple

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

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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 \

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

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


to make amends

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