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

Earlier this week, Buckingham Palace also released a photo of the couple’s red velvet and chocolate cake. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A Glimpse Inside Princess Eugenie’s Extravagant, Flower-Filled Wedding Reception," 18 Oct. 2018 Per People, the only guests were the couple’s family, including Allen’s then-teenage daughter Katherine. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Tim Allen and His Wife Jane Hajduk's Relationship Rivals Even His Best TV Romances," 13 Oct. 2018 Each dish was paired with one of the couple’s favorite French wines. John Dolan, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Didn't Believe in Love at First Sight–Until It Happened to Them," 6 Aug. 2018 Weeks after the pair’s divorce became final in 1951, Sinatra’s ex-husband married Gardner, while Sinatra went on to raise the couple’s three children: Nancy, Frank Jr. and Tina. John Rogers,, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 The couple’s daughter had arrived to check on her parents at about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. Ted Gregory,, "Elderly woman who killed husband, then herself, had 'difficult time caring for him,' police say," 13 July 2018 The couple has actually been capitalizing on the incident, offering a burglar2018 promo code this month. Ashley May, USA TODAY, "Robber breaks into escape room. Then, calls 911 because he can't get out," 13 July 2018 In May, the couple’s son Nicolas and his wife Jaclyn Edison were arrested and charged with solicitation to commit capital murder., "Teen and Girlfriend Accused of Hiring Hitman to Kill His Dad — and Alleged Gunman Is Arrested," 12 July 2018 The couple’s children, ages 5 and 16, were inside the home at the time but were asleep, Booth said. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Woman stabbed husband before turning knife on herself, cops say," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The risk to aviation, coupled with high levels of volcanic activity, is why five Alaskan volcanoes earned a place in the top 18. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "Volcanologists just ranked the most threatening volcanoes in the United States," 26 Oct. 2018 That, coupled with low enthusiasm from the youngest voters and the group’s history of anemic turnout in midterm elections, does not point to under-30 voters having a huge impact in November. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Trump's favorite county," 3 Aug. 2018 But coupled with the high humidity, the heat index, a measure of what the temperature feels like to a human, was 106 degrees. Matthew Ormseth,, "Weather Service Issues Heat Warning With Temperatures Peaking Again Sunday, Residents Packing State Parks," 2 July 2018 The dark grey coupled with the orange trim is certainly eye catching and the chequered pattern is a somewhat interesting choice., "Leicester City Fans React to the Club's Divisive New Away Kit Ahead of the 2018/19 Season," 1 July 2018 The lack of coverage for the 600,000-acre desert, coupled with the exodus of a number of rangers after the suicide of a beloved ranger, has led former park employees to sound the alarm. J. Harry Jones,, "Only 4 rangers patrolling 1,000-square-mile Anza-Borrego desert," 17 June 2018 The restoration of state funds, coupled with a slight increase in the grand list, spelled some relief for taxpayers this year, said Davis. Janice Steinhagen, Courant Community, "Griswold Voters Approve .34 Mil Tax Increase," 13 June 2018 Back Caption Options Close Settings Language English Font Size Small Medium Large Position Auto Bottom Top Sample Caption Text 0:00 0:00 0:00 Money is an obvious difference during group trips when single vs. coupled. Beca Grimm, GQ, "Invite Your Single Friends on Group Vacations, Dammit," 6 June 2018 His appeal for a government clean of scandal, coupled with a promise to hold new elections soon, brought him just enough votes in parliament to end Rajoy's 6 1/2 years in charge. Joseph Wilson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spain's new leader Pedro Sanchez promises an end to corruption," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Stuff your face with street food at a hawker center Airport Road Food Centre has a couple dozen excellent food stalls, including Lao Ban. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "50 Things to Do in Asia Before You Die," 24 Sep. 2018 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

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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Learn More about couple

Statistics for couple

Last Updated

12 Nov 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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