[uhn-kuhp-uh l]

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

to release the coupling or link between; disconnect; let go: to uncouple railroad cars.
to end (a romantic relationship or marriage): Their marriage was uncoupled by financial problems.

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

to become unfastened; let go: The glider uncoupled from the tow plane.
to end a romantic relationship or marriage: My sister and her boyfriend have uncoupled after ten years together.
(of a romantic relationship or marriage) to end.

Origin of uncouple

1300–50; Middle English unco(u)plen; see un-2, couple
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for uncouple

Historical Examples of uncouple

  • There was no need for the firemen to uncouple a line of hose from the reel.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Tell Pedro the moment he hears the bell ring to uncouple the rear car.

  • It will then uncouple, discharge one hopper, and go back on Mass-Time.

    The Lost Kafoozalum

    Pauline Ashwell

  • I've got to get to the rear now, to uncouple a car we have to leave here.

    All He Knew

    John Habberton

  • Andrews told his engineer to uncouple the baggage car from the box car, and then wait for him.

    Stories Of Georgia

    Joel Chandler Harris

British Dictionary definitions for uncouple



to disconnect or unfasten or become disconnected or unfastened
(tr) to set loose; release
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 uncouple

c.1300, from un- (2) "opposite of" + couple (v.). Cf. Middle Dutch ontcoppelen. Related: Uncoupled; uncoupling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper