couple (plural couples)
- Two partners in a romantic or sexual relationship.
- Two of the same kind connected or considered together.
- (informal) A small number.
- 1839, Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby
- A couple of billiard balls, all mud and dirt, two battered hats, a champagne bottle […]
- 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Red-Headed League
- ‘Oh, merely a couple of hundred a year, but the work is slight, and it need not interfere very much with one’s other occupations.’
- 1902, A. Henry Savage Landor, Across Coveted Lands:
- When we got on board again after a couple of hours on shore […]
1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ […].” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.
1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
- And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.
- One of the pairs of plates of two metals which compose a voltaic battery, called a voltaic couple or galvanic couple.
- (physics) Two forces that are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction (and acting along parallel lines), thus creating the turning effect of a torque or moment.
- (architecture) A couple-close.
- (obsolete) That which joins or links two things together; a bond or tie; a coupler.
- Roger L'Estrange (1616-1704)
- It is in some sort with friends as it is with dogs in couples; they should be of the same size and humour.
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
- I'll go in couples with her.
- The traditional and still most broadly accepted usage of couple is as a noun, in which case it is followed by "of" when used to mean "two", as in "a couple of people". In this usage, "a couple of" is equivalent to "a pair of". Couple is also used informally as a determiner (see definition below), in which case it is not followed by "of". In this usage, "a couple" is roughly equivalent to "a few". Usage manuals advise that couple be used only as a noun and not as a determiner in formal writing.
- "A couple of things" or people may be used to mean two of them, but it is also often used to mean any small number.
- The farm is a couple of miles off the main highway [=a few miles away].
- We’re going out to a restaurant with a couple of friends [=two friends].
- Wait a couple of minutes [=two minutes or more].
- Armenian: զույգ (hy) (zuyg)
- Basque: bikote
- Bulgarian: дво́йка (bg) f (dvójka)
- Catalan: parella (ca)
- Mandarin: 夫婦 (zh), 夫妇 (zh) (fūfù), 一對 (zh), 一对 (zh) (yīduì), 一雙 (zh), 一双 (zh) (yīshuāng), 情侣 (zh) (qínglǚ)
- Czech: pár (cs) m
- Danish: par (da) n
- Dutch: stel (nl), (Flanders) koppel (nl) n, paar (nl) n, duo (nl) n
- Esperanto: geedzo
- Finnish: pari (fi), pariskunta (fi)
- French: couple (fr) m, paire (fr) f, époux (fr) m pl (a couple formed of a husband and wife)
- Old French: couple
- Middle French: couple
- Georgian: წყვილი (c̣q̇vili)
- German: Paar (de) n
- Greek: ζεύγος (el) n (zévgos), ζευγάρι (el) n (zevgári)
- Hebrew: זוּג (he) m (zúg)
- Icelandic: par (is) n
- Ido: duo (io), paro (io)
- Italian: coppia (it) f
- Japanese: カップル (ja) (kappuru), ペア (pea), 対 (ja) (つい, tsui), 一対 (いっつい, ittsui), 夫婦 (ja) (ふうふ, fūfu)
- Korean: 부부 (ko) (bubu), 커플 (keopeul)
- Latvian: pāris (lv) m
- Norman: (Guernsey) couplle m, (Jersey) coupl'ye m
- Polish: para (pl)
- Portuguese: casal (pt)
- Romanian: pereche (ro), cuplu (ro) n
- Russian: па́ра (ru) (pára), чета́ (ru) f (četá) (stilted, of married couples only)
- Scottish Gaelic: dithis m, f, càraid f
- Slovene: par (sl) m
- Spanish: pareja (es) f
- Swedish: par (sv) n
two of the same kind considered together
one of the pair of plates in a voltaic battery
two rotations, movements, etc., equal in amount but opposite in direction
couple (not comparable)
- (informal, US) Two or (a) small number of.
2005, Deirdre Savoy, Body of Truth, page 179:
- Put any couple guys in a tricked out car and a couple of bandannas […] " He trailed off.
2005, Elaine Bonzelaar, Those First Two Years, page 47:
- Since we were now living so close, at least those couple hours of talking together helped boost our spirits.
2006, Eric Nolen-Weathington, George A. Khoury, Arthur Adams, Modern Masters: Arthur Adams, volume six, page 22:
- Apparently, Ann in particular liked these couple pages of the character thing.
- (informal) A small number of.
- (colloquial, US) Two or a few.
1922, “Lewis J. Bennett et al vs. Sebastien L. Petrino”, in State of New York Supreme Court Appellate Division - Fourth Department:
- Q. (Mr. Feldman, atty) You say you lived upstairs? A. (Emma Moore) I lived upstairs. Q. Until when? A. About couple months we lived upstairs. Q. Up until couple months ago? A. No, couple months after we moved in there because the down stairs was not finished.
2007, Jeffrey Lent, Lost Nation page=182:
- Couple boys from way downcountry come for a summer in the woods. Isaac Cole talked to em.
2011, Elizabeth Eulberg, Prom and Prejudice:
- [At a pizza parlor] "Couple slices would be great. […]
couple (third-person singular simple present couples, present participle coupling, simple past and past participle coupled)
- (transitive) To join (two things) together, or (one thing) to (another).
- Now the conductor will couple the train cars.
- I've coupled our system to theirs.
- (transitive, dated) To join in wedlock; to marry.
- (Can we date this quote?), Jonathan Swift
- A parson who couples all our beggars.
- (intransitive) To join in sexual intercourse; to copulate.
- 1987 Alan Norman Bold & Robert Giddings, Who was really who in fiction, Longman
- On their wedding night they coupled nine times.
- 2001 John Fisher & Geoff Garvey, The rough guide to Crete, p405
- She had the brilliant inventor and craftsman Daedalus construct her an artificial cow, in which she hid and induced the bull to couple with her [...]
From Vulgar Latin *copla, from Latin cōpula.
couple f (oblique plural couples, nominative singular couple, nominative plural couples)
- couple (two things)
- sexual liaison
- Occasionally used as a masculine noun (le couple)