(usual for sense 2)
ˈkə-pliŋ How to pronounce coupling (audio)
: the act of bringing or coming together : pairing
specifically : sexual union
: a device that serves to connect the ends of adjacent parts or objects
: the joining of or the part of the body that joins the hindquarters to the forequarters of a quadruped
: a means of electric connection of two electric circuits by having a part common to both

Examples of coupling in a Sentence

the couplings between railroad cars a coupling of literature and science
Recent Examples on the Web However, fans didn’t learn of their coupling until months later in Sept. 2020 when Berner spilled the details on Bravo’s Chat Room. Emily Weaver, Peoplemag, 30 Mar. 2024 So declining rates of young-adult coupling and of marrying – only one in two adults are currently married, a record low – act as a drag on birth rates as couples wrestle with life choices. Riley Robinson, The Christian Science Monitor, 27 Mar. 2024 Only two of the couplings belonged to the same genus. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Mar. 2024 Everett is not the first to reimagine Huck and Jim’s coupling, which other artists have interpreted as romantic or paternal. Maya Binyam, The New Yorker, 11 Mar. 2024 Alia then derisively witnesses a Fremen spice orgy of clapping, singing, drinking, and coupling. Max Evry, WIRED, 4 Mar. 2024 If undiscovered fields exist, either their mass is higher than the LHC can reach or their coupling to the fields of the Standard Model is too weak for the LHC to create them. Luke Caldwell, Scientific American, 16 Jan. 2024 The leaks were due to an improper assembly of couplings at the factories, the FAA said. Rebecca Cohen, NBC News, 8 Jan. 2024 These star couplings also began at different stages of life. Frederic J. Frommer, Kansas City Star, 18 Feb. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near coupling

Cite this Entry

“Coupling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cou·​pling ˈkəp-liŋ ( How to pronounce coupling (audio)
 usual for sense 2  ),
: the act of bringing or coming together
: something that connects two parts or things

Medical Definition


cou·​pling ˈkəp-liŋ, -ə-liŋ How to pronounce coupling (audio)
: 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
: 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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