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

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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


“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

The couple’s backup plan was to call a different midwife and deliver little Ivy at home instead — which is exactly what Jessa did, right on the family couch! Ashley Boucher,, "Jessa Duggar Gives Birth on the Family Couch in Dramatic Video Before Being Rushed to Hospital," 20 June 2019 Police and medics were called to the couple’s Eagan townhome the afternoon of June 7, 2017, and found Zayden’s unconscious body on the living room floor, according to the criminal complaint. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Eagan woman pleads guilty to 2017 death of foster child in her care," 20 June 2019 Mary Lenk and the couple’s daughter also gave victim statements Wednesday. Clifford Ward,, "‘You’re not going to kill me,' victim recalls saying to man who awaits sentencing for attempted murders during Naperville break-in," 19 June 2019 Things began unravelling for him on the night of Sept. 20, 1962, as the police barged into the couple’s room in New Delhi’s Ashoka Hotel. Abeer Kapoor, Quartz India, "The fascinating story of an American smuggler’s daring escapades in 1960s India," 19 June 2019 Patrick Shanahan remained in Seattle, but the couple’s eldest daughter would soon rejoin him to attend college. Aaron C. Davis,, "As Shanahan withdraws as Trump’s defense pick, he addresses violent domestic incidents," 18 June 2019 The second incident took place in Florida on Nov. 23, 2011, after the couple’s divorce in September of that year. Michael D. Shear, New York Times, "Shanahan Withdraws as Defense Secretary Nominee, and Mark Esper Is Named Acting Pentagon Chief," 18 June 2019 In doing so, the court kept alive the couple’s appeal and left open the question of whether businesses can discriminate against gays and lesbians based on their religious beliefs. David G. Savage,, "Supreme Court passes, for now, on a new wedding cake dispute," 17 June 2019 Investigators are confident Troconis, whose relationship with Dulos was cited in the couple’s divorce proceedings, was not in New Canaan on May 24. Dave Altimari,, "The events of May 24, the last day Jennifer Farber Dulos was seen alive, are a key element of the investigation into her disappearance," 16 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The alley location, coupled with a large retaining wall, ensures minimal foot traffic — and a nice respite from the hubbub of M Street for you and your dog. Washington Post, "D.C.'s best dog-friendly patios," 8 June 2019 Love Island, which is filmed at a luxury Spanish villa and involves beautiful people coupling up to find love while sequestered on an island, has come under fire since the suicides. Molly Longman,, "After Love Island Suicides, Psychologists Weigh In On Mental Health And Reality TV," 6 June 2019 The boldness of the hues coupled with the fact that the portrait sits 20-feet up from the ground makes this image of Spencer-Young beyond larger than life. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Amy Sherald, who painted Michelle Obama’s portrait, designs a mural that turns a Philly teen into her own inspiration | Elizabeth Wellington," 5 June 2019 The taboo and shame surrounding non-consensual experiences coupled with the physical and mental trauma many survivors experience can cause severe health problems for years to come. Natasha Bhuyan, SELF, "If I Don’t Talk to My Patients About Consent, Who Will?," 5 June 2019 In the last 10 years, the eruption of dating apps, social media, and streaming TV have massively transformed how people couple up—and talk about it. Amanda Montell, Glamour, "From Ghosting to Going Steady, Here's a Guide to the History of Dating Slang," 31 May 2019 At the top-end of Intel’s graphics offerings were processors coupled with a small amount of on-die DRAM. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Hands-on: Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 gets thinner and 2.5x faster with Intel's 10th Core i7," 28 May 2019 After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, many airlines had a hard time, facing a sharp drop in people flying coupled with a surge in the price of fuel. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "The Motley Fool: Defining shell companies," 13 Apr. 2019 Eisdell coupled the icey-white shade with a jet-black liner on the bottom to create a stark contrast between the opposing hues. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Wearing White Eyeliner Will Make You Want to Wear White Eyeliner," 15 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This position also makes for a really cute couple photo. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "17 Kissing Positions You Should Try During Your Next Makeout Session," 9 Apr. 2019 There was just a couple dozen of very fancy people like us. Recode Staff, Recode, "Podcaster Manoush Zomorodi explains blockchain and how it might fix the media," 17 July 2018 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

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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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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More from Merriam-Webster on couple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with couple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for couple

Spanish Central: Translation of couple

Nglish: Translation of couple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of couple for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about couple

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).


showing courage and determination

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