the act of a person or thing that couches.
a method of embroidering in which a thread, often heavy, laid upon the surface of the material, is caught down at intervals by stitches taken with another thread through the material.
work so made.

Origin of couching

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at couch, -ing1


[kouch or for 6, 14, kooch]


a piece of furniture for seating from two to four people, typically in the form of a bench with a back, sometimes having an armrest at one or each end, and partly or wholly upholstered and often fitted with springs, tailored cushions, skirts, etc.; sofa.
a similar article of furniture, with a headrest at one end, on which some patients of psychiatrists or psychoanalysts lie while undergoing treatment.
a bed or other place of rest; a lounge; any place used for repose.
the lair of a wild beast.
Brewing. the frame on which barley is spread to be malted.
Papermaking. the board or felt blanket on which wet pulp is laid for drying into paper sheets.
Fine Arts. a primer coat or layer, as of paint.

verb (used with object)

to arrange or frame (words, a sentence, etc.); put into words; express: a simple request couched in respectful language.
to express indirectly or obscurely: the threat couched under his polite speech.
to lower or bend down, as the head.
to lower (a spear, lance, etc.) to a horizontal position, as for attack.
to put or lay down, as for rest or sleep; cause to lie down.
to lay or spread flat.
Papermaking. to transfer (a sheet of pulp) from the wire to the couch.
to embroider by couching.
Archaic. to hide; conceal.

verb (used without object)

to lie at rest or asleep; repose; recline.
to crouch; bend; stoop.
to lie in ambush or in hiding; lurk.
to lie in a heap for decomposition or fermentation, as leaves.

Origin of couch

1300–50; (noun) Middle English couche < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of coucher; (v.) Middle English couchen < Anglo-French, Old French coucher, Old French colcher < Latin collocāre to put into place, equivalent to col- col-1 + locāre to put, place; see locate
Related formswell-couched, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for couching

Historical Examples of couching

British Dictionary definitions for couching



  1. a method of embroidery in which the thread is caught down at intervals by another thread passed through the material from beneath
  2. a pattern or work done by this method



a piece of upholstered furniture, usually having a back and armrests, for seating more than one person
a bed, esp one used in the daytime by the patients of a doctor or a psychoanalyst
a frame upon which barley is malted
a priming layer of paint or varnish, esp in a painting
  1. a board on which sheets of handmade paper are dried by pressing
  2. a felt blanket onto which sheets of partly dried paper are transferred for further drying
  3. a roll on a papermaking machine from which the wet web of paper on the wire is transferred to the next section
archaic the lair of a wild animal


(tr) to express in a particular style of languagecouched in an archaic style
(when tr, usually reflexive or passive) to lie down or cause to lie down for or as for sleep
(intr) archaic to lie in ambush; lurk
(tr) to spread (barley) on a frame for malting
(intr) (of decomposing leaves) to lie in a heap or bed
(tr) to embroider or depict by couching
(tr) to lift (sheets of handmade paper) onto the board on which they will be dried
(tr) surgery to remove (a cataract) by downward displacement of the lens of the eye
(tr) archaic to lower (a lance) into a horizontal position
Derived Formscoucher, noun

Word Origin for couch

C14: from Old French couche a bed, lair, from coucher to lay down, from Latin collocāre to arrange, from locāre to place; see locate
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 couching



c.1300, "to overlay with gold, inlay," from Old French couchier "to lay down, place; go to bed, put to bed," from Latin collocare "to lay, place, station, arrange," from com- "together" (see com-) + locare "to place" (see locate). Meaning "to put into words" is from 1520s. Related: Couched; couching. Heraldic couchant ("lying down with the head up") is late 15c., from the French present participle.



mid-14c., from Old French couche (12c.) "a bed, lair," from coucher "to lie down," from Latin collocare (see couch (v.)). Traditionally, a couch has the head end only raised, and only half a back; a sofa has both ends raised and a full back; a settee is like a sofa but may be without arms; an ottoman has neither back nor arms, nor has a divan, the distinctive feature of which is that it goes against a wall. Couch potato first recorded 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper