cou·​pling | \ ˈkə-pliŋ (usual for sense 2) How to pronounce coupling (audio) , -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 Distraught with the de-coupling of the show's early faves (and Mike's wandering eye), fans of the series took to Twitter to rant about the 24-year-old's perceived disloyalty to Leanne. Ineye Komonibo,, "If You Think You Fancy Mike Boateng From Love Island, Just Wait Till You See His Brothers," 27 Jan. 2020 Getty Images One of the most surprising couplings on this season of Bachelor in Paradise has been Tayshia Adams and John Paul Jones. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Caelynn Miller-Keyes Ships Tayshia and JPJ More Than Herself and Dean on 'Bachelor in Paradise'," 24 Aug. 2019 Filaments of the protein actin, for example, could have stabilized contacts between the hosts and symbionts and improved the coupling of their metabolisms. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells," 9 Apr. 2019 Learning and memory require the coupling of information from many different brain regions. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 In addition to being nervous about the looming re-coupling, the Islanders were stunned to discover that the new additions were virtually impossible to tell apart. Ineye Komonibo,, "How To Tell The Love Island Season 6 Twins Apart," 20 Jan. 2020 Cooper made a major contribution involving the coupling of electrons into what are now known as Cooper pairs. Martin Weil,, "John Robert Schrieffer, Nobel laureate who studied superconductivity, dead at 88," 29 July 2019 There were some additional touches, such as adding a coupling cylinder to connect the end of the larynx with the loudspeaker and tailoring the resulting frequency range to something akin to a male voice's falling intonation. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "After 3,000 years, we can hear the “voice” of a mummified Egyptian priest," 24 Jan. 2020 But Marianne and Héloïse, while in different social classes, are not Romeo and Juliet; their coupling is not the fleeting whim of teenage fantasy, at risk because of dueling families. Tyler Coates, Wired, "The Best Romance for Our Socially Distant Time Is Now on Hulu," 27 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for coupling

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for coupling

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coupling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for coupling


How to pronounce coupling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coupling

: a device that connects two parts or things
formal : the act of having sex
: the act of combining two things


cou·​pling | \ ˈkə-pling How to pronounce coupling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce coupling (audio) \

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

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