couple

1 of 3

noun

cou·​ple ˈkə-pəl How to pronounce couple (audio)
 "couple of" is often  ˌkə-plə(v)
1
a
: 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
coupledom noun

couple

2 of 3

verb

cou·​ple ˈkə-pəl How to pronounce couple (audio)
coupled; coupling ˈkə-p(ə-)liŋ How to pronounce couple (audio)

transitive verb

1
a
: to connect for consideration together
b
: to join for combined effect
2
a
: 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

couple

3 of 3

adjective

: two
also : few
used with a
a couple drinks
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The film tells the story of a married couple who embark on a world-traveling adventure to find a cure for an ancient curse. Diego Ramos Bechara, Variety, 9 July 2024 That means the distribution of a couple of educational pamphlets could net the same $14 fee as a much pricier pack of diapers. CBS News, 9 July 2024
Verb
Liv Walker was single before the Casa Amor twist and coupled up with Caine Bacon. Armando Tinoco, Deadline, 5 July 2024 Contestants will couple up and test a potential spark through compatibility challenges, which grant the winners an opportunity to bring in new singles to shake up the competition. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 14 June 2024
Adjective
Gomez and Blanco confirmed their relationship in December 2023, before making their couple debut at the 2024 Emmys in January. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 13 June 2024 The show, which Rose developed with director Elina Street, spotlights the couple dozen lesbian bars remaining in the U.S. — a handful compared with the hundreds that existed decades ago. Chris Dong, Travel + Leisure, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for couple 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'couple.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

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

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Adjective

1924, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near couple

Cite this Entry

“Couple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/couple. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

couple

1 of 3 noun
cou·​ple ˈkəp-əl How to pronounce couple (audio)
1
: two persons romantically paired or associated together (as by marriage or on a date)
2
: two persons or things paired together
3
: an indefinite small number : few
a couple of days ago

couple

2 of 3 verb
coupled; coupling
ˈkəp-(ə-)liŋ
1
: to join together : connect
2
: to join in pairs
coupler
-p(ə-)lər
noun

couple

3 of 3 adjective
: two sense 1
also : several entry 1 sense 2
a couple days ago

More from Merriam-Webster on couple

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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