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[koo-pon, kyoo-] /ˈku pɒn, ˈkyu-/
a portion of a certificate, ticket, label, advertisement, or the like, set off from the main body by dotted lines or the like to emphasize its separability, entitling the holder to something, as a gift or discount, or for use as an order blank, a contest entry form, etc.
a separate certificate, ticket, etc., for the same purpose.
one of a number of small detachable certificates calling for periodic interest payments on a bearer bond.
Compare coupon bond.
Metallurgy. a sample of metal or metalwork submitted to a customer or testing agency for approval.
1815-25; < French; Old French colpon piece cut off, equivalent to colp(er) to cut (see cope1) + -on noun suffix
Related forms
couponless, adjective
Pronunciation note
Coupon, related to cope and coup, is of French origin. It has developed an American pronunciation variant
[kyoo-pon] /ˈkyu pɒn/ (Show IPA)
with an unhistorical y -sound not justified by the spelling. This pronunciation is used by educated speakers and is well-established as perfectly standard, although it is sometimes criticized. Its development may have been encouraged by analogy with words like curious, cupid, and cute, where c is followed by a “long u ” and the [y] /y/ is mandatory. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for coupon
  • For the day, the chain will discount an item by twice the stated value of each manufacturer's coupon presented by a customer.
  • coupons are valid for a year, and a ticket based on a coupon is usually valid for a further year.
  • The coupon business is a case of new technology confronting a deep-seated commercial culture.
  • Bond investors usually expect more of their gains to come from coupon payments.
  • Unique coupon code must be entered at check out and is valid only for one use.
  • Online retailers use a variety of incentives to goose holiday traffic, including coupon codes, newsletters and free shipping.
  • Most of the sites list coupon codes submitted by readers and retailers.
  • If you haven't bought a popular item this time, the coupon you receive on your receipt might include it.
  • They also have a coupon club, will send you discounts through the year.
  • As it apparently must for all things, computerization is coming to challenge the humble supermarket coupon.
British Dictionary definitions for coupon


  1. a detachable part of a ticket or advertisement entitling the holder to a discount, free gift, etc
  2. a detachable slip usable as a commercial order form
  3. a voucher given away with certain goods, a certain number of which are exchangeable for goods offered by the manufacturers
one of a number of detachable certificates attached to a bond, esp a bearer bond, the surrender of which entitles the bearer to receive interest payments
one of several detachable cards used for making hire-purchase payments
a ticket issued to facilitate rationing
(Brit) a detachable entry form for any of certain competitions, esp football pools
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Old French colpon piece cut off, from colper to cut, variant of couper; see cope1
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 coupon

1822, "certificate of interest due on a bond" (which could be cut from the bond and presented for payment), from French coupon, literally "piece cut off," from couper "to cut," from coup "a blow" (see coup). Meaning widened to "discount ticket" 1860s by British travel agent Thomas Cook. The specific advertising sense is from 1906.

COUPON. A financial term, which, together with the practice, is borrowed from France. In the United States, the certificates of State stocks drawing interest are accompanied by coupons, which are small tickets attached to the certificates. At each term when the interest falls due, one of these coupons is cut off (whence the name); and this being presented to the State treasurer or to a bank designated by him, entitles the holder to receive the interest. [Bartlett]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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