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coupling

[kuhp-ling] /ˈkʌp lɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of a person or thing that couples.
2.
Machinery.
  1. a device for joining two rotating shafts semipermanently at their ends so as to transmit torque from one to the other.
    Compare clutch1 (def 12a).
  2. a part with an inside thread for connecting two pipes of the same diameter.
  3. a fitting at the end of a length of hose into which the end of another such length can be screwed or fitted.
3.
Railroads. coupler (def 3).
4.
Electricity.
  1. the association of two circuits or systems in such a way that power may be transferred from one to the other.
  2. a device or expedient to ensure this.
5.
a short length of plumbing pipe having each end threaded on the inside.
6.
the part of the body between the tops of the shoulder blades and the tops of the hip joints in a dog, horse, etc.
7.
linkage (def 5).
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English; see couple, -ing1

couple

[kuhp-uh l] /ˈkʌp əl/
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.
  1. to join or associate by means of a coupler.
  2. 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)
Related forms
coupleable, adjective
intercouple, adjective
well-coupled, adjective
Can be confused
couple, pair, several (see synonym study at pair)
Usage note
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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Examples from the web for coupling
  • Distant ship horns and the bangs of coupling freight trains floated up, providing pleasing counterpoints to birdsongs.
  • Biting, shoving, and wrestling make for rough coupling among nurse sharks.
  • Though they sing of private coupling, they imply a public party with smiling parents watching.
  • There's another side-effect of this magnetic coupling.
  • One that's still under way is the emergence of a variety of precision weapons, and also coupling them with sensors.
  • The other innovation is a way of coupling the sections of the bridge together.
  • The stronger their reported connection, the closer the coupling.
  • Rail companies are not interested in jobs that require constant coupling and uncoupling of single car loads.
  • Tomato's unexpected coupling with puckery rhubarb blossoms into a delightful marriage of flavors here.
  • In favor of a recognition of coupling as the dominate reality in today's modern economy.
British Dictionary definitions for coupling

coupling

/ˈkʌplɪŋ/
noun
1.
a mechanical device that connects two things
2.
a device for connecting railway cars or trucks together
3.
the part of the body of a horse, dog, or other quadruped that lies between the forequarters and the hindquarters
4.
(electronics) the act or process of linking two or more circuits so that power can be transferred between them usually by mutual induction, as in a transformer, or by means of a capacitor or inductor common to both circuits See also direct coupling
5.
(physics) an interaction between different properties of a system, such as a group of atoms or nuclei, or between two or more systems
6.
(genetics) the occurrence of two specified nonallelic genes from the same parent on the same chromosome

couple

/ˈkʌpəl/
noun
1.
two people who regularly associate with each other or live together: an engaged couple
2.
(functioning as singular or pl) two people considered as a pair, for or as if for dancing, games, etc
3.
(mainly hunting)
  1. a pair of collars joined by a leash, used to attach hounds to one another
  2. two hounds joined in this way
  3. 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)
  1. two dissimilar metals, alloys, or semiconductors in electrical contact, across which a voltage develops See thermocouple
  2. 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 pl) a couple of
  1. a combination of two; a pair of: a couple of men
  2. (informal) a small number of; a few: a couple of days
pronoun
8.
(usually preceded by a; functioning as singular or pl) two; a pair: give him a couple
verb
9.
(transitive) to connect (two things) together or to connect (one thing) to (another): to couple railway carriages
10.
(transitive) 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.
(intransitive) to have sexual intercourse
15.
to join or be joined in marriage; marry
16.
(transitive) to attach (two hounds to each other)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French: a pair, from Latin cōpula a bond; see copula
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 coupling

couple

n.

late 13c., from Old French cople "married couple, lovers" (12c., Modern French couple), from Latin copula "tie, connection," from PIE *ko-ap-, from *ko(m)- "together" + *ap- "to take, reach." Meaning broadened mid-14c. to "any two things."

v.

c.1200, from Old French copler, from cople (see couple (n.)). Related: Coupled; coupling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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coupling in Medicine

coupling cou·pling n.

  1. The act of uniting sexually.

  2. See bigeminal rhythm.

  3. The configuration of two different mutant genes on the same chromosome, leading to the likelihood they will both either be inherited or omitted in the next generation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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coupling in Technology

programming, hardware
The degree to which components depend on one another. There are two types of coupling, "tight" and "loose". Loose coupling is desirable for good software engineering but tight coupling may be necessary for maximum performance. Coupling is increased when the data exchanged between components becomes larger or more complex.
(1996-08-01)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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