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 The combination of six actorly actors from SITI Company and six daredevil athletes from Streb Extreme Action was an odd coupling, an oil-and-water mix. New York Times, "7 Things to Do This Weekend," 8 Oct. 2020 Nobody wins with that coupling, not even 7-year-olds. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live (October 2)," 2 Oct. 2020 In an era of increasingly bitter partisan enmity, the odd coupling of Ginsburg – petite, serious, seemingly shy – and Scalia – rotund, garrulous, overtly opinionated – may be viewed as an anachronism. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Opera, travel, food, law: The strange bedfellows friendship of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia," 20 Sep. 2020 Yes, this technically takes place when the couple are in high school, which feels weird, but Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Jughead (Cole Sprouse) are 23 and 27 in real life, so consider this coupling in their mid-twenties instead. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The 57 Most Graphic and Gorgeous Sex Scenes on TV," 24 Sep. 2020 Connor Trott's coupling continued to unfold with tears, questions of compatibility, fake proposals and a step back in their relationship. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "'Love Island' Week 2 spoilers: Who's together, who's out, which relationship lasted 24 hours," 10 Sep. 2020 The Grand Wagoneer is equipped with a full-time four-wheel-drive system whose center differential is fitted with a viscous coupling. Phil Berg, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1990 Luxury Off-Road SUV Comparison," 2 Sep. 2020 From the days of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to contemporary crime shows, this has always been noir’s remit, the coupling of infrastructure and ruin. Siddhartha Deb, The New Republic, "Héctor Tobar’s Radical Road Trip Novel," 25 Aug. 2020 Archaeologists call the building the House of Leda, for an indoor mural that depicts the mythical coupling of Leda, the Queen of Sparta, with Zeus in the form of a swan. John Hooper, WSJ, "The Latest Project to Preserve Pompeii Reveals New Treasures," 19 Aug. 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

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coupling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 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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