cou·​plet | \ˈkə-plət \

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


brace, couple, duo, dyad, pair, twain, twosome

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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

Part breakup song, part defiant anthem of belonging, the long poem that makes up Pico’s third book is divided into sassy but vulnerable couplets. New York Times, "New & Noteworthy," 29 May 2018 Note the way slant and full rhyming couplets provide graceful rails for this poem’s difficult subject. Carol Muske-dukes, New York Times, "The Year the Law Changed," 25 Apr. 2018 For Red Bull Theater, David Ives, a playwright who knows his way around a couplet, adapts an obscure 18th-century French farce about poetry-mad Parisians. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "15 Plays and Musicals to Go to in NYC This Weekend," 19 Apr. 2018 Only in the second act, with the onerous exposition out of the way, do the couplets begin to give birth to satisfying story. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: Rhyme Gone Wild in ‘The Metromaniacs’," 22 Apr. 2018 Indeed, a quick review of the text indicates that the reproofs are arranged in four couplets, increasing in severity. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Let's be thankful for our blessings," 7 May 2018 Buffed and bare nails served as a jumping off point for couplets of vertical black lines pulled across each tip in deceptively simple guise. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Steven Tyler Does Nail Art Like Only a Rock Icon Could," 17 Apr. 2018 Or check out this Phoenix Suns themed poster that Josh Saad used to ask Alana Campos — three player puns and a couplet in one sign! Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "High schoolers look to Arizona athletes for the ultimate competition: promposals," 16 Apr. 2018 Lehrer's work bounced the absurdities and paranoias of that period back at us, in rhymed couplets and a bouncy piano beat. Michael Hiltzik,, "A few words (wasted) about Tom Lehrer on his 90th birthday," 9 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for couplet

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for couplet

The first known use of couplet was in 1580

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More Definitions for couplet



English Language Learners Definition of couplet

: two lines of poetry that form a unit


cou·​plet | \ˈkə-plət \

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

Comments on couplet

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full of whispering sounds

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