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[kuhp-lit] /ˈkʌp lɪt/
a pair of successive lines of verse, especially a pair that rhyme and are of the same length.
a pair; couple.
Music. any of the contrasting sections of a rondo occurring between statements of the refrain.
Origin of couplet
1570-80; < Middle French; see couple, -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for couplet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Crabbe's thoughts ran very much in antithesis, and the couplet suited this tendency.

    Crabbe, (George) Alfred Ainger
  • The couplet is so great that, where thou art, —Thou being a poem—it is past my art.

    Silverpoints John Gray
  • Afterwards we find that meaner quill is replaced by venal quill; and the couplet about the rival translations is suppressed.

    Addison William John Courthope
  • When he came to the couplet I have given you, what do you think he sang?

  • Yet this five-line poem ends in a couplet of intolerable obscenity.

  • Revolts against the couplet, then, were few and generally unsuccessful.

  • The other was a paraphrase of a couplet in reference to our brown brothers of the Philippines first spoken in Manila.

    Notes of a War Correspondent Richard Harding Davis
  • The couplet he immediately repudiates as an enemy to fidelity.

British Dictionary definitions for couplet


two successive lines of verse, usually rhymed and of the same metre
Word Origin
C16: from French, literally: a little pair; see couple
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 couplet

1570s, in poetry, from French couplet (mid-14c.), a diminutive of couple (see couple (n.)). In music, from 1876.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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couplet in Culture

couplet definition

A pair of lines of verse that rhyme. Some poems, such as “The Night Before Christmas,” are written entirely in couplets:

`Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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