cou·​plet | \ ˈkə-plət How to pronounce couplet (audio) \

Definition of couplet

1 : two successive lines of verse forming a unit marked usually by rhythmic correspondence, rhyme, or the inclusion of a self-contained utterance : distich She ended her poem with a rhyming couplet.
2 : couple

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Synonyms for couplet


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Examples of couplet in a Sentence

a poem made up of six couplets a couplet of statues flank the entrance to the church
Recent Examples on the Web The sparrow's novel song ends in a two-tone couplet. Corryn Wetzel, National Geographic, "Sparrows are singing a new song, in a rapid, unprecedented shift," 2 July 2020 There’s a bit of both Frederick Seidel and T.S. Eliot in the press of her sentences, the crisp progress of her rhyming couplets. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "In ‘Three Poems,’ Hannah Sullivan Writes Beautifully and Covers a Lot of Ground," 10 Apr. 2020 There’s a couplet that is clearly about George W. Bush, and Prine noticed that some audience members were surprised by it. Rob Tannenbaum, New York Times, "John Prine’s 15 Essential Songs," 8 Apr. 2020 Instead, the literary giant largely crafted 12-line segments followed by a conclusive couplet. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Hear Daily Shakespeare Sonnets Recited by Patrick Stewart," 7 Apr. 2020 Freedman’s staging of Shakespeare was bracingly democratic, designed to reach everyone — from the scholar in the crowd able to quote couplets to the newcomer just learning English. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Gerald Freedman brought a lifetime of experience, from Broadway to Hollywood, to Cleveland’s Great Lakes Theater," 22 Mar. 2020 The door -- still decorated with traditional red couplets for the Lunar New Year -- is being barricaded with multiple metal bars by several men in medical masks. Nectar Gan, CNN, "Outcasts in their own country, the people of Wuhan are the unwanted faces of China's coronavirus outbreak," 1 Feb. 2020 While Blueface wrecks couplets for kicks, Teejayx6 hacks meter for cash. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "The year’s best rappers sounded ahead of their time. Literally.," 13 Dec. 2019 Choose a line by Shakespeare and pair it with a line of your own to produce a funny rhyming couplet. Washington Post, "Style Conversational Week 1362: Do Wit Again," 12 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'couplet.' 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 couplet

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for couplet

Middle French, diminutive of Old French cuple, couple — see couple entry 1

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Time Traveler for couplet

Time Traveler

The first known use of couplet was in 1580

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Statistics for couplet

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Couplet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for couplet


How to pronounce couplet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of couplet

: two lines of poetry that form a unit


cou·​plet | \ ˈkə-plət How to pronounce couplet (audio) \

Kids Definition of couplet

: two rhyming lines of verse one after another “The butcher, the baker,/The candlestick maker” is an example of a couplet.

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More from Merriam-Webster on couplet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for couplet

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

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