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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.
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 couplets
  • Before attacking the problem for quadruplets it seemed sensible to go back and look at couplets.
  • The songs of warbling-antbird pairs usually begin as evenly spaced series of couplets.
  • Your glib comment that biology does not yield ethical insights is trite: biology doesn't yield rhyming couplets either.
  • The two others are carelessly formed of seven riming couplets, and the lines are not of ten but of twelve or fourteen syllables.
  • Often these members are arranged in couplets, but sometimes they include several lines.
  • The stately couplets and intricate rhymes of traditional poetry seem inadequate to such experience.
  • One-way couplets are often found within the urban area and provide access management benefits.
  • After that, students volunteered to write couplets themselves.
  • His couplets are full of humor and normally have a message for common men.
  • couplets with a meter of iambic pentameter are called heroic couplets.
British Dictionary definitions for couplets


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 couplets



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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couplets 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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