couple
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, pair, bond, from Anglo-French cuple, from Latin copula bond, from co- + apere to fasten — more at apt Date: 13th century 1. a. two persons married, engaged, or otherwise romantically paired b. two persons paired together 2. pair, brace 3. something that joins or links two things together: as a. two equal and opposite forces that act along parallel lines b. a pair of substances that in contact with an electrolyte participate in a transfer of electrons which causes an electric current to flow 4. an indefinite small number ; few <
a couple of days ago
>
coupledom noun II. verb (coupled; coupling) Date: 13th century transitive verb 1. a. to connect for consideration together b. to join for combined effect 2. a. to fasten together ; link b. to bring (two electric circuits) into such close proximity as to permit mutual influence 3. to join in marriage or sexual union intransitive verb 1. to unite in sexual union 2. join 3. to unite chemically III. adjective Date: 1924 two; also few — used with a <
a couple drinks
>
Usage: The adjective use of a couple, without of, has been called nonstandard, but it is not. In both British and American English it is standard before a word (as more or less) indicating degree <
a couple more examples of Middle English writing — Charles Barber
>
. Its use before an ordinary plural noun is an Americanism, common in speech and in writing that is not meant to be formal or elevated <
the first couple chapters are pretty good — E. B. White (letter)
>
<
still operated a couple wagons for hire — Garrison Keillor
>
. It is most frequently used with periods of time <
a couple weeks
>
and numbers <
a couple hundred
>
<
a couple dozen
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • couple — [ kupl ] n. m. et f. • cople 1190; lat. copula « lien, liaison » I ♦ N. f. 1 ♦ Vén. Lien servant à attacher ensemble deux ou plusieurs animaux de même espèce. 2 ♦ Vx ou Région. Deux choses de même espèce. « une bonne couple de soufflets » (Mme de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • couplé — couple [ kupl ] n. m. et f. • cople 1190; lat. copula « lien, liaison » I ♦ N. f. 1 ♦ Vén. Lien servant à attacher ensemble deux ou plusieurs animaux de même espèce. 2 ♦ Vx ou Région. Deux choses de même espèce. « une bonne couple de soufflets »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Couple — Cou ple (k[u^]p l), n. [F. couple, fr. L. copula a bond, band; co + apere, aptum, to join. See {Art}, a., and cf. {Copula}.] 1. That which joins or links two things together; a bond or tie; a coupler. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] It is in some sort with …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • couple — 1. Couple, as in ‘a couple of…’, needs to be used and understood with care, as it retains its original meaning of ‘two’ alongside its more informal meaning ‘a few’. A couple of friends will usually mean two friends, no more or less, whereas a… …   Modern English usage

  • couple — COUPLE. s. f. Deux choses de mesme espece qu on met ensemble. Une couple d oeufs. une couple de chapons. une couple de boëtes de confitures. une couple de bouteilles de vin. donnez m en une couple. ne luy en envoyez pas pour un, il faut luy… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • couple — COUPLE. subst. fém. Deux choses de même espèce qu on met ensemble. Une couple d oeufs. Une couple de chapons. Une couple de boîtes de confitures. Donnez m en une couple. [b]f♛/b] Il ne se dit jamais Des choses qui vont nécessairement ensemble,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • couple — n Couple, pair, brace, yoke are comparable when meaning two things of the same kind. Couple applies to two things of the same sort, regarded as in some way associated, but not necessarily (except in the case of a married or mated pair) matched or …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • couple — Couple, f. C est ce qui se consiste en deux ou de deux, ou pour mieux dire les deux choses mesmes, comme une couple de chevaux, Par equorum. Il vient de Copula, qui vient de Copulare, mettre deux choses de mesme espece ensemble: car on ne dira… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • couplé — couplé, ée (kou plé, plée) part. passé. Attaché avec une couple. •   ....Je vois qu ils se soucient D avoir chevaux à leur char attelés De même taille, et mêmes chiens couplés, LA FONT. Cal.. •   Nous fûmes envoyés au bagne couplés comme des… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • couple — [kup′əl] n. [ME < OFr cople < L copula, a band, link: see COPULA] 1. anything joining two things together; bond; link 2. two things or persons of the same sort that are somehow associated 3. two people, esp. a man and woman, who are engaged …   English World dictionary

  • Couple — Cou ple, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Coupled} (k[u^]p ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Coupling} (k[u^]p l[i^]ng).] [F. coupler, fr. L. copulare. See {Couple}, n., and cf. {Copulate}, {Cobble}, v.] [1913 Webster] 1. To link or tie, as one thing to another; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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