couple

[kuhp-uhl]
noun
1.
two of the same sort considered together; pair.
2.
two persons considered as joined together, as a married or engaged pair, lovers, or dance partners: They make a handsome couple.
3.
any two persons considered together.
4.
Mechanics. a pair of equal, parallel forces acting in opposite directions and tending to produce rotation.
5.
Also called couple-close. Carpentry. a pair of rafters connected by a tie beam or collar beam.
6.
a leash for holding two hounds together.
7.
Fox Hunting. two hounds: 25 hounds or 12½ couple.
verb (used with object), coupled, coupling.
8.
to fasten, link, or associate together in a pair or pairs.
9.
to join; connect.
10.
to unite in marriage or in sexual union.
11.
Electricity.
a.
to join or associate by means of a coupler.
b.
to bring (two electric circuits or circuit components) close enough to permit an exchange of electromagnetic energy.
verb (used without object), coupled, coupling.
12.
to join in a pair; unite.
13.
to copulate.
Idioms
14.
a couple of, more than two, but not many, of; a small number of; a few: It will take a couple of days for the package to get there. A dinner party, whether for a couple of old friends or eight new acquaintances, takes nearly the same amount of effort. Also, Informal, a couple.

Origin:
1175–1225; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French c(o)uple, Old French cople, cuple < Latin cōpula a tie, bond (see copula); (v.) Middle English couplen < Anglo-French co(u)pler, Old French copler, cupler < Latin copulāre (see copulate)

coupleable, adjective
intercouple, adjective
well-coupled, adjective

couple, pair, several (see synonym study at pair).


The phrase a couple of, meaning “a small number of; a few; several,” has been in standard use for centuries, especially with measurements of time and distance and in referring to amounts of money: They walked a couple of miles in silence. Repairs will probably cost a couple of hundred dollars. The phrase is used in all but the most formal speech and writing. The shortened phrase a couple, without of (The gas station is a couple miles from here), is an Americanism of recent development that occurs chiefly in informal speech or representations of speech, especially when followed by number terms (as a couple dozen eggs) or units of measurement (as a couple years ago; a couple gallons of gas). This use of couple (as an adjective or modifier) is still disliked by many. Without a following noun, a couple is even more informal: Jack shouldn't drive. It's clear he's had a couple. (Here the noun drinks is omitted.)
In referring to two people, couple, like many collective nouns, may take either a singular or a plural verb. Most commonly, it is construed as a plural: The couple were traveling to Texas. See also collective noun.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
couple (ˈkʌpəl)
 
n
1.  two people who regularly associate with each other or live together: an engaged couple
2.  (functioning as singular or plural) two people considered as a pair, for or as if for dancing, games, etc
3.  chiefly hunting
 a.  a pair of collars joined by a leash, used to attach hounds to one another
 b.  two hounds joined in this way
 c.  the unit of reckoning for hounds in a pack: twenty and a half couple
4.  a pair of equal and opposite parallel forces that have a tendency to produce rotation with a torque or turning moment equal to the product of either force and the perpendicular distance between them
5.  physics
 a.  See thermocouple two dissimilar metals, alloys, or semiconductors in electrical contact, across which a voltage develops
 b.  Also called: galvanic couple two dissimilar metals or alloys in electrical contact that when immersed in an electrolyte act as the electrodes of an electrolytic cell
6.  a connector or link between two members, such as a tie connecting a pair of rafters in a roof
7.  (functioning as singular or plural) a couple of
 a.  a combination of two; a pair of: a couple of men
 b.  informal a small number of; a few: a couple of days
 
pron
8.  (usually preceded by a; functioning as singular or plural) two; a pair: give him a couple
 
vb
9.  (tr) to connect (two things) together or to connect (one thing) to (another): to couple railway carriages
10.  (tr) to do (two things) simultaneously or alternately: he couples studying with teaching
11.  to form or be formed into a pair or pairs
12.  to associate, put, or connect together: history is coupled with sociology
13.  to link (two circuits) by electromagnetic induction
14.  (intr) to have sexual intercourse
15.  to join or be joined in marriage; marry
16.  (tr) to attach (two hounds to each other)
 
[C13: from Old French: a pair, from Latin cōpula a bond; see copula]

coupled (ˈkʌpəld)
 
adj
being one of the partners in a permanent sexual relationship

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

couple
late 13c., from O.Fr. cople "married couple, lovers," from L. copula "tie, connection," from PIE *ko-ap-, from *ko(m)- "together" + *ap- "to take, reach." Meaning broadened 14c. to "any two things." The verb is from mid-14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
With the end of the drought, coupled with several major irrigation projects,
  the state's agricultural industry bounced back.
The unnatural gloom is believed to have been caused by smoke from forest fires,
  possibly coupled with heavy fog.
Heavy pesticide use there at the time, coupled with heavy chemicals used here
  to revive the flowers after the long transport.
The new findings do not completely resolve the coupled quasar mystery, however.
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