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[uhn-kuhp-uh l]
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verb (used with object), un·cou·pled, un·cou·pling.
  1. to release the coupling or link between; disconnect; let go: to uncouple railroad cars.
  2. to end (a romantic relationship or marriage): Their marriage was uncoupled by financial problems.
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verb (used without object), un·cou·pled, un·cou·pling.
  1. to become unfastened; let go: The glider uncoupled from the tow plane.
  2. to end a romantic relationship or marriage: My sister and her boyfriend have uncoupled after ten years together.
  3. (of a romantic relationship or marriage) to end.
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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. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for uncoupling


  1. to disconnect or unfasten or become disconnected or unfastened
  2. (tr) to set loose; release
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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 uncoupling



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper