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[kop-yuh-luh] /ˈkɒp yə lə/
noun, plural copulas, copulae
[kop-yuh-lee] /ˈkɒp yəˌli/ (Show IPA)
something that connects or links together.
Also called linking verb. Grammar. a verb, as be, seem, or look, that serves as a connecting link or establishes an identity between subject and complement.
Compare action verb.
Logic. a word or set of words that acts as a connecting link between the subject and predicate of a proposition.
Origin of copula
1640-50; < Latin cōpula, equivalent to co- co- + ap- fasten (see apt) + -ula -ule
Related forms
copular, adjective
Can be confused
copula, cupola. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for copula
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for copula


noun (pl) -las, -lae (-ˌliː)
a verb, such as be, seem, or taste, that is used merely to identify or link the subject with the complement of a sentence. Copulas may serve to link nouns (or pronouns), as in he became king, nouns (or pronouns) and adjectival complements, as in sugar tastes sweet, or nouns (or pronouns) and adverbial complements, as in John is in jail
anything that serves as a link
(logic) the often unexpressed link between the subject and predicate terms of a categorial proposition, as are in all men are mortal
Derived Forms
copular, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: bond, connection, from co- together + apere to fasten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for copula

linking verb, 1640s, from Latin copula "that which binds, rope, band, bond" (see copulate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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copula in Medicine

copula cop·u·la (kŏp'yə-lə)
A narrow part connecting two structures.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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