cou·​pling | \ˈkə-pliŋ(usual for sense 2), -pə-liŋ\

Definition of coupling 

1 : the act of bringing or coming together : pairing specifically : sexual union

2 : a device that serves to connect the ends of adjacent parts or objects

3 : the joining of or the part of the body that joins the hindquarters to the forequarters of a quadruped

4 : a means of electric connection of two electric circuits by having a part common to both

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Examples of coupling in a Sentence

the couplings between railroad cars a coupling of literature and science

Recent Examples on the Web

Rumors of a coupling between British model Cara Delevingne and Pretty Little Liars star, Ashley Benson have been swarming around for a few months now. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About Ashley Benson and Cara Delevingne's Relationship So Far," 14 Aug. 2018 Our coupling—late one night, in the heat of the engine room—felt urgent and reckless, heightened by the ship's rolling, the clanking of wrenches beside our heads, the stagnant, diesel-smelling air, and the very real possibility of being caught. Nicole Hardy, Marie Claire, "I Was 36 Years Old and Had Never Had Sex Before—and Then Things Got Awkward," 28 June 2016 Google’s support will be key, as this type of new form factor will require a close coupling of hardware and software. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The foldable phones are coming," 8 Nov. 2018 The plastic pressure reducer or pressure regulator inside the hose coupling protects the hose from splitting under high water pressure. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Install a Drip Irrigation System in Your Garden," 17 July 2018 The couplings are uncovering some hard truths about rights and sexuality in Russia, where women are often given short shrift. Amie Ferris-rotman, Washington Post, "At World Cup, Russians embrace the world, one relationship at a time," 9 July 2018 The coupling was asymmetrical, linking her central-frontal regions with his right hemisphere. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "He’s not just saying he feels her pain—he really is," 4 Mar. 2018 The plastic pressure reducer or pressure regulator inside the hose coupling protects the hose from splitting under high water pressure. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Use Soaker Hoses To Install A Drip Irrigation System In Your Garden," 7 Mar. 2017 Especially when the scene of the coupling was my expensive, pristine sheets. Elizabeth Kiefer, Glamour, "Is the Future of Period Sex This $400 Blanket?," 21 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for coupling

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coupling

The first known use of coupling was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for coupling



English Language Learners Definition of coupling

: a device that connects two parts or things

: the act of having sex

: the act of combining two things


cou·​pling | \ˈkə-pling \

Kids Definition of coupling

1 : the act of bringing or coming together the coupling of the freight cars

2 : something that connects two parts or things a pipe coupling


cou·​pling | \ˈkəp-liŋ, -ə-liŋ \

Medical Definition of coupling 

1 : the joint together with its supporting structures between the last lumbar vertebra and the sacrum that joins the hindquarters of a quadruped to the trunk broadly : the part of the body or the conformation and proportionate length of the part of the body that joins the hindquarters to the forequarters

2 : the tendency of linked traits to be inherited together in offspring of a double heterozygote when both dominant genes occur on one chromosome and both recessive genes occur on the homologous chromosome — compare repulsion

3 : bigeminy

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More from Merriam-Webster on coupling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for coupling

Spanish Central: Translation of coupling

Nglish: Translation of coupling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of coupling for Arabic Speakers

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