- Two items of the same kind; a pair.
- Something that joins or connects two things together; a link.
- used with a sing. or pl. verb
a. Two people united, as by betrothal or marriage.
b. Two people together.
- Informal A few; several: a couple of days.
- Physics A pair of forces of equal magnitude acting in parallel but opposite directions, capable of causing rotation but not translation.
verbcou·pled, cou·pling, cou·ples
- To link together; connect: coupled her refusal with an explanation.
- Electricity To link (two circuits or currents), as by magnetic induction.
- Archaic To join together in marriage; marry.
- To form pairs; join.
- To unite sexually; have sexual intercourse.
- To join chemically.
Two or few: “Every couple years the urge strikes, to … haul off to a new site” ( Garrison Keillor )
Origin of couple
Middle English from
Old French from
Latin cōpula bond, pair
Usage Note: When used to refer to two people who function socially as a unit, as in a married couple, the word couple may take either a singular or a plural verb, depending on whether the members are considered individually or collectively: The couple were married last week. Only one couple was left on the dance floor. When a pronoun follows, they and their are more common than it and its: The couple decided to spend their (less commonly its ) vacation in Florida. Using a singular verb and a plural pronoun, as in The couple wants their children to go to college, is widely considered to be incorrect. Care should be taken that the verb and pronoun agree in number: The couple want their children to go to college. • Although the phrase a couple of has been well established in English since before the Renaissance, modern critics have sometimes maintained that a couple of is too inexact to be appropriate in formal writing. But the inexactitude of a couple of may serve a useful purpose, suggesting that the writer is indifferent to the precise number of items involved. Thus the sentence She lives only a couple of miles away implies not only that the distance is short but that its exact measure is unimportant. This usage should be considered unobjectionable on all levels of style. • The of in the phrase a couple of is often dropped in speech, but this omission is usually considered a mistake. In 2013, 80 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence A couple friends came over to watch the game to be unacceptable.
- Two partners in a romantic or sexual relationship.
- Two of the same kind connected or considered together.
- (informal) A small number.
- One of the pairs of plates of two metals which compose a voltaic battery, called a voltaic couple or galvanic couple.
- (physics) Two forces that are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction (acting along parallel lines), thus creating the turning effect of a torque or moment.
- (architecture) A couple-close.
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- I'll go in couples with her.
- The traditional and still most broadly accepted usage of couple is as a noun, in which case it is followed by "of" when used to mean "two", as in "a couple of people". In this usage, "a couple of" is equivalent to "a pair of". Couple is also used informally as a determiner (see definition below), in which case it is not followed by "of". In this usage, "a couple" is roughly equivalent to "a few". Usage manuals advise that couple be used only as a noun and not as a determiner in formal writing.
- "A couple of things" or people may be used to mean two of them, but it is also often used to mean any small number.
- The farm is a couple of miles off the main highway [=a few miles away].
- We’re going out to a restaurant with a couple of friends [=two friends].
- Wait a couple of minutes [=two minutes or more].
- (informal) A small number of.
(third-person singular simple present couples, present participle coupling, simple past and past participle coupled)
- To join (two things) together, or (one thing) to (another).
- Now the conductor will couple the train cars.
- I've coupled our system to theirs.
- (dated) To join in wedlock; to marry.
- (intransitive) To join in sexual intercourse; to copulate.
Origin See also: couplé
From Old French couple, from Latin copula.