[ kuhp-ling ]
/ ˈkʌp lɪŋ /


Origin of coupling

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at couple, -ing1

Definition for coupling (2 of 2)

[ kuhp-uh l ]
/ ˈkʌp əl /


verb (used with object), cou·pled, cou·pling.

verb (used without object), cou·pled, cou·pling.

to join in a pair; unite.
to copulate.

Origin of couple

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French c(o)uple, Old French cople, cuple < Latin cōpula a tie, bond (see copula); (v.) Middle English couplen < Anglo-French co(u)pler, Old French copler, cupler < Latin copulāre (see copulate)


cou·ple·a·ble, adjectivein·ter·cou·ple, adjectivewell-cou·pled, adjective


couple pair several (see synonym study at pair)

usage note for couple

The phrase a couple of, meaning “a small number of; a few; several,” has been in standard use for centuries, especially with measurements of time and distance and in referring to amounts of money: They walked a couple of miles in silence. Repairs will probably cost a couple of hundred dollars. The phrase is used in all but the most formal speech and writing. The shortened phrase a couple, without of ( The gas station is a couple miles from here ), is an Americanism of recent development that occurs chiefly in informal speech or representations of speech, especially when followed by number terms (as a couple dozen eggs ) or units of measurement (as a couple years ago; a couple gallons of gas ). This use of couple (as an adjective or modifier) is still disliked by many. Without a following noun, a couple is even more informal: Jack shouldn't drive. It's clear he's had a couple. (Here the noun drinks is omitted.)
In referring to two people, couple, like many collective nouns, may take either a singular or a plural verb. Most commonly, it is construed as a plural: The couple were traveling to Texas. See also collective noun. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for coupling

British Dictionary definitions for coupling (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkʌplɪŋ) /


a mechanical device that connects two things
a device for connecting railway cars or trucks together
the part of the body of a horse, dog, or other quadruped that lies between the forequarters and the hindquarters
electronics the act or process of linking two or more circuits so that power can be transferred between them usually by mutual induction, as in a transformer, or by means of a capacitor or inductor common to both circuitsSee also direct coupling
physics an interaction between different properties of a system, such as a group of atoms or nuclei, or between two or more systems
genetics the occurrence of two specified nonallelic genes from the same parent on the same chromosome

British Dictionary definitions for coupling (2 of 2)

/ (ˈkʌpəl) /



(usually preceded by a; functioning as singular or plural) two; a pairgive him a couple


Word Origin for couple

C13: from Old French: a pair, from Latin cōpula a bond; see copula
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

Medical definitions for coupling

[ kŭplĭng ]


The act of uniting sexually.
bigeminal rhythm
The configuration of two different mutant genes on the same chromosome, leading to the likelihood they will both either be inherited or omitted in the next generation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.