cou·pon | \ ˈkü-ˌpän , ˈkyü- \

Definition of coupon 

1 : a statement of due interest to be cut from a bearer bond when payable and presented for payment also : the interest rate of a coupon

2 : a small piece of paper that allows one to get a service or product for free or at a lower price: such as

a : one of a series of attached tickets or certificates often to be detached and presented as needed

b : a ticket or form authorizing purchases of rationed commodities

c : a certificate or similar evidence of a purchase redeemable in premiums

d : a part of a printed advertisement to be cut off to use as an order blank or inquiry form or to obtain a discount on merchandise or services

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Synonyms for coupon


check, pass, pasteboard, ticket

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Examples of coupon in a Sentence

Bring in this coupon for a free oil change. I'm always clipping coupons from the newspaper to use at the grocery store. The coupon is good for one free ice-cream cone. Send in this coupon for more information.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Teachers who register will get a coupon and one-time promo code to use in stores or online to save on classroom supplies such as pens, pencils, notebooks, arts and crafts items, tissues, hand sanitizer and more. Doreen Christensen,, "Teachers get special discount at Target Teachers Prep Event starting July 15," 13 July 2018 The app will also notify you of sales and special offers, plus there’s in-store coupons and promo codes, too. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Seriously, save money on gas, hotels and shopping with these 8 apps," 26 June 2018 The instruments come in nearly infinite flavors, with different coupons and conversion triggers. Liz Hoffman, WSJ, "Upstarts Crash Wall Street’s $7 Billion Capital-Markets Party," 25 June 2018 Vyera, like other pharmaceutical companies, has set up patient assistance programs, coupons, and state rebates to lessen the blow. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Drug made famous by Shkreli’s 5,000% price hike is still $750 a pill," 4 May 2018 Coverage varies based on insurer and patient assistance programs, and coupons in use at different pharmacy chains, but the cost can be as low as a prescription copay. Staff,, "Comment here on court and crime stories for Sunday, April 29, 2018," 29 Apr. 2018 The special holiday devoted to puppy breath, adorable clumsiness and a special brand of fur therapy also comes with discounts and coupons for puppy and dog owners to take advantage of. Sonja Haller, azcentral, "National Puppy Day 2018: Pet deals you need in your life for your little fluff of cuteness," 22 Mar. 2018 Hardee’s: Join the email list, get a free small fries and beverage coupon with purchase of one-third pound Thickburger. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Celebrate National French Fry day with what else, french fry deals," 13 July 2018 In 2007, close to 73 percent of U.S. hospitals handed out packs of free formula, bottles and coupons — familiar to just about anyone who gave birth in the 1990s and early 2000s. NBC News, "Report that U.S. suppressed breastfeeding resolution shocks advocates," 9 July 2018

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

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coupon

French, from Old French, piece, from couper to cut — more at cope entry 1

French, from Old French, piece, from couper to cut

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Statistics for coupon

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for coupon

The first known use of coupon was in 1822

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More Definitions for coupon



Financial Definition of coupon

What It Is

In the finance world, a coupon is the annual interest paid on the face value of a bond. It is expressed as a percentage.

How It Works

The term "coupon" comes from the small detachable coupons attached to bearer bond certificates. The coupons entitled the holder to interest payments from the borrower. Coupons are rare today because most bonds are not issued in certificate form; rather, they are registered electronically (although some bondholders still choose to hold paper certificates).

Let's assume you purchase a $1,000 XYZ Company bond. The coupon rate on the bond is 5%, which means the issuer will pay you 5% interest per year, or $50, on the face value of the bond ($1,000 x 0.05). Even if your bond trades for less than $1,000 (or more than $1,000), the issuer is still responsible for paying the coupon based on the face value of the bond.

American and Japanese issuers typically make coupon payments every six months. So, in the example above, XYZ Company would pay you $25 twice a year. European issuers generally make coupon payments once per year.

Not all coupon rates stay the same over the life of a bond. Some issuers may pay interest based on a stated margin over a financial index such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). These floating-rate bonds typically reset their coupon rates every six months.

Not all bonds have a coupon, as is the case with zero-coupon bonds. Instead of making interest payments, companies may issue bonds at deep discounts and then pay the holder the full face value of the bond upon maturity. For example, instead of purchasing that XYZ Company bond for  $1,000 and then collecting 5% interest each year, you could purchase a XYZ Company zero-coupon bond for $750, hold the bond until maturity, and receive $1,000 in return (for interest of $250). In both cases, the investor receives interest, but the zero-coupon bond investor does not receive interest until the bond matures. Note that zero-coupon issuers do not have to allocate cash to debt service (i.e., make interest payments) until their bonds mature.

Companies involved in leveraged buyouts or other transactions that result in a high level of interest burden may issue deferred-coupon bonds, whereby the issuer can avoid making far payments for a specified amount of time.

Why It Matters

Coupons are one of the defining characteristics of bonds and one of the most influential on their pricing because they give investors a way to compare bonds. For instance, the 5% coupon on the XYZ Company bond may make the bond an attractive investment if similar investments are only paying 2%. Likewise, the XYZ Company bond may not be attractive if similar investments pay 10%.

With higher interest rates, a better yield can be found other places than with bonds. This is why bond prices usually fall when interest rates increase and rise when interest rates fall.  Notably, the size of a bond's coupon tends to indicate how sensitive the bond's price will be to interest rate changes. In general, the higher the coupon rate, the less the price will change when interest rates fluctuate.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of coupon

: a usually small piece of printed paper that lets you get a service or product for free or at a lower price

: a section of an advertisement that you can cut out and mail to a company in order to request information or to order a product or service


cou·pon | \ ˈkü-ˌpän , ˈkyü- \

Kids Definition of coupon

1 : a ticket or form that allows the holder to receive some service, payment, or discount

2 : a part of an advertisement meant to be cut out for use as an order blank

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cou·pon | \ ˈkü-ˌpän, ˈkyü- \

Legal Definition of coupon 

: a statement of due interest to be cut from a debt instrument and especially a bearer bond when payable and presented for payment also : the interest rate of a coupon

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Comments on coupon

What made you want to look up coupon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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