Definition of couple in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkʌp(ə)l/


1Two people or things of the same sort considered together: a couple of girls were playing marbles
More example sentences
  • Fish were making their presence felt in every pool, including a couple of double figured salmon.
  • As the title suggests, this unlikely duo plays a couple of struggling actors.
pair, duo, duology, twosome, set of two, match;
brace, span, yoke;
rare duplet, dyad, duad, doubleton
archaic twain
1.1A pair of partners in a dance or game.
Example sentences
  • In the case of pair skaters and ice dance couples, one of the two individuals must fulfill the same requirement as for a singles skater.
  • Lucky couples on the dance floor walked away with more than a dozen prizes during the course of the night.
  • The couple danced many classical roles together, as well as pas de deux that Nixon choreographed.
1.2 (plural couple) A pair of hunting dogs.
1.3 (couples) Two collars joined together and used for holding hounds together.
1.4A pair of rafters.
1.5 Mechanics A pair of equal and parallel forces acting in opposite directions, and tending to cause rotation about an axis perpendicular to the plane containing them.
2 [treated as singular or plural] Two people who are married or otherwise closely associated romantically or sexually: in three weeks the couple fell in love and became engaged a honeymoon couple
More example sentences
  • When we had left the hotel, I had felt like we were a married couple on our honeymoon.
  • Congratulations are extended to the newly married couple and their families.
  • I mean when you think about it, we really are like this old married couple.
husband and wife, twosome;
informal item
3 informal An indefinite small number: [as pronoun]: he hoped she’d be better in a couple of days we got some eggs—would you like a couple? [as determiner]: just a couple more questions North American clean the stains with a couple squirts dishwashing liquid
More example sentences
  • But you seem to have asked the question a couple of times, and I am a bit puzzled by that.
  • Jim gave his regulator a couple of squirts on the purge button to reassure himself that his air was turned on.
  • That question has a couple of answers, starting with the fact that they do go bankrupt a lot.
a few, two or three, a small number of;
North American  a couple


1 [with object] Link or combine (something) with something else: a sense of hope is coupled with a palpable sense of loss
More example sentences
  • They work in fixed teams, where know-how is coupled with team work to provide the best possible service.
  • The frequent power cuts have also compounded the problems for them and when it is coupled with the steep hike in prices, people feel that they have been caught between devil and deep sea.
  • The roots of jazz date back to around the 1890s when a blend of African music from the slaves on the plantations was coupled with European-American musical traditions.
combine, integrate, mix, incorporate, accompany, link, team, associate, connect, ally;
add to, join to
formal conjoin
1.1Connect (a railway vehicle or a piece of equipment) to another: a cable is coupled up to one of the wheels
More example sentences
  • This done, the brand-new C&O dynamometer car was coupled on, and the tests began in May 1929.
  • When two cars are coupled together there is a two or three scale foot gap between the diaphragms.
  • The faster journeys would be achieved by cutting the number of times that trains have to be coupled and decoupled, a job that can take precious minutes.
1.2Connect (two electrical components) using electromagnetic induction, electrostatic charge, or an optical link: (as adjective coupled) networks of coupled oscillators
More example sentences
  • These components are coupled into single mode optical fibers and detected by photodiodes.
  • The passive antenna elements are coupled to selectable impedance components.
  • At least two of the first plurality of circuit boards may be coupled to independently distribute power to each of the plurality of switch circuit boards.
connect, attach, join, fasten, fix, link, secure, tie, bind, strap, rope, tether, truss, lash, hitch, yoke, chain;
stick, tape, glue, bond, cement, fuse, weld, solder;
pin, peg, screw, bolt, rivet, clamp, clip, hook (up);
add, append, annex, subjoin
technical concatenate
1.3 [no object] (couple up) Join to form a pair: the beetles may couple up to form a pair
More example sentences
  • Why is everyone coupling up and heading off to get naked?
  • I was crying every day, I was calling in sick to work and I couldn't face meeting up with my friends who were all blissfully coupled up.
  • Aimed at singletons and those who are happily coupled up but want to meet new people, the night is a cross between speed-dating and a book club, aimed at those in their 20s to 40s.
2 [no object] Mate or have sexual intercourse: as middle-class youth grew more tolerant of sex, they started to couple more often
More example sentences
  • In the city of a million hovels, a million lovers coupled to the signs of the seasons.
  • When a courted female permits mating, the pair remain coupled, end to end, for many hours, even a day.
  • Then, when they coupled, he felt his very bones melting within his body.



Example sentences
  • Consider, for instance, the endless regulations and interdictions that provide the texture of domestic coupledom.
  • Nobody really wants to hear about what happens after ‘Happy Ever After’ came - and for me, I settled into coupledom at 20 and have been there ever since.
  • Having the notion of happy coupledom shoved down our throats at every turn during the weeks preceding Valentine's Day is a turn off to many.


Middle English: from Old French cople (noun), copler (verb), from Latin copula (noun), copulare (verb), from co- 'together' + apere 'fasten'. Compare with copula and copulate.

  • This comes via Old French from Latin copulare formed from co- ‘together’ and apere ‘fasten’. The term couplet (late 16th century) used in poetry for a pair of successive (usually rhyming) lines, means literally ‘little pair’. Copulate (Late Middle English) at first meant ‘join’ and is from the same source.

Words that rhyme with couple


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: couple

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