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[dee-kuhp-uh l]
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verb (used with object), de·cou·pled, de·cou·pling.
  1. to cause to become separated, disconnected, or divergent; uncouple.
  2. to absorb the shock of (a nuclear explosion): a surrounding mass of earth and rock can decouple a nuclear blast.
  3. Electronics. to loosen or eliminate the coupling of (a signal between two circuits).
verb (used without object), de·cou·pled, de·cou·pling.
  1. to separate or diverge from an existing connection; uncouple.

Origin of decouple

First recorded in 1595–1605; de- + couple
Related formsde·cou·pler, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for decouple


  1. (tr) to separate (joined or coupled subsystems) thereby enabling them to exist and operate separately
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

Word Origin and History for decouple


c.1600, from French découpler "to uncouple," from de- (see de-) + coupler (Old French copler; see couple (v.)). Related: Decoupled; decoupling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper