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[kouch or for 6, 14, kooch] /kaʊtʃ or for 6, 14, kutʃ/
a piece of furniture for seating from two to four people, typically in the form of a bench with a back, sometimes having an armrest at one or each end, and partly or wholly upholstered and often fitted with springs, tailored cushions, skirts, etc.; sofa.
a similar article of furniture, with a headrest at one end, on which some patients of psychiatrists or psychoanalysts lie while undergoing treatment.
a bed or other place of rest; a lounge; any place used for repose.
the lair of a wild beast.
Brewing. the frame on which barley is spread to be malted.
Papermaking. the board or felt blanket on which wet pulp is laid for drying into paper sheets.
Fine Arts. a primer coat or layer, as of paint.
verb (used with object)
to arrange or frame (words, a sentence, etc.); put into words; express:
a simple request couched in respectful language.
to express indirectly or obscurely:
the threat couched under his polite speech.
to lower or bend down, as the head.
to lower (a spear, lance, etc.) to a horizontal position, as for attack.
to put or lay down, as for rest or sleep; cause to lie down.
to lay or spread flat.
Papermaking. to transfer (a sheet of pulp) from the wire to the couch.
to embroider by couching.
Archaic. to hide; conceal.
verb (used without object)
to lie at rest or asleep; repose; recline.
to crouch; bend; stoop.
to lie in ambush or in hiding; lurk.
to lie in a heap for decomposition or fermentation, as leaves.
on the couch, Informal. undergoing psychiatric or psychoanalytic treatment.
Origin of couch
1300-50; (noun) Middle English couche < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of coucher; (v.) Middle English couchen < Anglo-French, Old French coucher, Old French colcher < Latin collocāre to put into place, equivalent to col- col- + locāre to put, place; see locate
Related forms
well-couched, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for couch
  • In metabolic terms, publishing in the humanities is more couch potato than sprinter.
  • It grunts, it drools, and it's about as sluggish as a couch potato.
  • Eating fatty foods, not exercising and somehow remaining lean and healthy--it's the couch potato's dream.
  • It's either the ultimate in couch comfort or a totally bizarre idea dreamed up by a pair of designers obsessed with neuroscience.
  • Some people view today's college students as worthless bums who are too lazy to get off the couch to get another beer.
  • Tennis, golf, ice hockey and sundry other sports will keep couch potatoes occupied during any lulls in the sporting calendar.
  • His hobbies now include sleeping on the couch and chasing squirrels.
  • You've probably promised yourself to get off the couch and get some exercise.
  • If your taste buds are set for a tender, juicy steak, it's the beef couch potato muscles that will deliver what you seek.
  • Some new games on the market aim to get kids off the couch.
British Dictionary definitions for couch


a piece of upholstered furniture, usually having a back and armrests, for seating more than one person
a bed, esp one used in the daytime by the patients of a doctor or a psychoanalyst
a frame upon which barley is malted
a priming layer of paint or varnish, esp in a painting
  1. a board on which sheets of handmade paper are dried by pressing
  2. a felt blanket onto which sheets of partly dried paper are transferred for further drying
  3. a roll on a papermaking machine from which the wet web of paper on the wire is transferred to the next section
(archaic) the lair of a wild animal
(transitive) to express in a particular style of language: couched in an archaic style
(when transitive, usually reflexive or passive) to lie down or cause to lie down for or as for sleep
(intransitive) (archaic) to lie in ambush; lurk
(transitive) to spread (barley) on a frame for malting
(intransitive) (of decomposing leaves) to lie in a heap or bed
(transitive) to embroider or depict by couching
(transitive) to lift (sheets of handmade paper) onto the board on which they will be dried
(transitive) (surgery) to remove (a cataract) by downward displacement of the lens of the eye
(transitive) (archaic) to lower (a lance) into a horizontal position
Derived Forms
coucher, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French couche a bed, lair, from coucher to lay down, from Latin collocāre to arrange, from locāre to place; see locate
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
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Word Origin and History for couch

c.1300, "to overlay with gold, inlay," from Old French couchier "to lay down, place; go to bed, put to bed," from Latin collocare "to lay, place, station, arrange," from com- "together" (see com-) + locare "to place" (see locate). Meaning "to put into words" is from 1520s. Related: Couched; couching. Heraldic couchant ("lying down with the head up") is late 15c., from the French present participle.


mid-14c., from Old French couche (12c.) "a bed, lair," from coucher "to lie down," from Latin collocare (see couch (v.)). Traditionally, a couch has the head end only raised, and only half a back; a sofa has both ends raised and a full back; a settee is like a sofa but may be without arms; an ottoman has neither back nor arms, nor has a divan, the distinctive feature of which is that it goes against a wall. Couch potato first recorded 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for couch


Related Terms

casting couch

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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couch in the Bible

(Gen. 49:4; 1 Chr. 5:1; Job 7:13; Ps. 6:6, etc.), a seat for repose or rest. (See BED.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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