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

For gay couples the proportion is even higher, at 60%. The Economist, "Facebook has unleashed a new dating service," 12 Sep. 2019 He's had two unbelievable pros to learn from by playing a couple years with Eric Weddle and now Earl Thomas, who's a Hall of Famer. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Former Desert Mountain standout Mark Andrews relishes chance to face Arizona Cardinals," 12 Sep. 2019 And a couple streets over was Miss Nettie’s house, with four flowering pots colorfully interrupting the drabness around them. John Carlisle,, "Detroit flower man grows hope, brings beauty to community," 12 Sep. 2019 Fast forward three years and a couple thousand members later, in steps member 2,163, an 11-year-old soon-to-be seventh-grader who needed to get his frustrations out on the weights rather than the drywall in his room. Peter San Nicolas, Ramona Sentinel, "Ramona’s Trainer: ’30 Years and 30,000 Lives’," 12 Sep. 2019 Toronto should also get a couple turns through the order against the Red Sox’s group of relievers. Esten Mclaren, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays odds, picks and betting tips," 10 Sep. 2019 The Mooresville Police Department says the victims were an elderly couple. Indianapolis Star, "Elderly couple dies after Mooresville house fire," 9 Sep. 2019 Jordan and Kaylee, a YouTuber vlogger couple who run a vanlife channel called The Nomadic Movement, commented on Eliana’s success in a recent video. Taylor Lorenz, Outside Online, "Jennelle Eliana's Rise to Vanlife Stardom," 7 Sep. 2019 The work of a local architecture and design practice, Izat Arundell, (run by young couple Eilidh Izat and Jack Arundell), the vacation rental is like nothing else in the city. Rick Jordan, Condé Nast Traveler, "My Favorite Airbnb in Edinburgh: A Minimalist Haven in Old Town," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But timely hits off McGee, coupled with the errors, opened the floodgates to an undramatic Boston win. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Red Sox rock Rico Garcia, Rockies with 10-6 win in series opener at Coors Field," 27 Aug. 2019 This came in part because city officials were not happy with the proposed subcontractor's designs, coupled with a weak market for townhomes. Thomas Jewell,, "Shaker council moves on $1M sale of vacant Avalon station lot for senior care," 23 July 2019 Williams pleaded guilty to causing bodily injury to a child, a felony, which, coupled with the bail violation, landed him in jail for about two years. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, "Health Insurers Make It Easy for Scammers to Steal Millions. Who Pays? You.," 19 July 2019 Prominent Dallas investor and hedge fund founder Kyle Bass says the Chinese economy has reached a deficit that could slow its growth and, coupled with tariffs, could drag the U.S. into a mild recession by 2020. Dallas News, "Why the Dallas investor who predicted the housing market collapse says U.S. could see recession next year," 27 June 2019 Electromagnets set into the frames of both displays allow them to pulse or vibrate slightly in response to input, and that's also coupled with audio feedback. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2019 Audi A7 might be all the car anyone ever needs," 24 June 2019 Their research team used field research coupled with high-resolution imagery, enhanced by LiDAR —light in the form of a pulsed laser—to accurately map where milkweed already grows across four major metropolitan areas (Chicago, Minneapolis-St. National Geographic, "Monarch butterflies are dying out. Here’s how cities can help.," 20 June 2019 There was a trailer, which was mostly hype coupled with the revelation that Captain Christopher Pike would indeed be waltzing in and taking control of the Discovery from Interim Captain Saru. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "All the news you might have missed from San Diego Comic-Con 2018," 23 July 2018 Earlier this year, the Illinois Senate passed a measure that coupled the income tax constitutional amendment with a local school district property tax freeze. Jamie Munks,, "What to do about property taxes? Gov. J.B. Pritzker asks a task force to figure it out," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The competing celebrities include Marshmello, Alison Wonderland, Wax Motif, and a couple dozen other folks, some of whom are not EDM DJs. Michael Calore, WIRED, "How to Watch the Fortnite World Cup Finals," 25 July 2019 Starting combinations There were a couple new starters on display Friday. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Observations from the UW Huskies’ sixth practice of spring football," 12 Apr. 2019 Before bringing dad into one of Native Roots’ eight Denver-area locations, give him a primer on the brand’s website, which includes a thorough rundown of products, from 30 flower strains to a couple dozen edibles. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Where to buy pot in Denver with your dad on Father’s Day," 13 June 2019 From the screenwriter of Jurassic Park and a couple dozen other movies comes Cold Storage, a thriller that follows Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz as he's faced with a deadly being from his past. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Ars To-Be-Read: Our most anticipated books for the second half of 2019," 8 June 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.

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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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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