Meaning of COUPLE in English


I. cou ‧ ple 1 S1 W1 AC /ˈkʌp ə l/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ couple , ↑ coupling ; verb : ↑ couple ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: cople , from Latin copula ; ⇨ ↑ copula ]

1 . a couple

a) two things or people of the same kind SYN a few

a couple of

There are a couple of girls waiting for you.

b) a small number of things:

I just need to make a couple more calls.

a couple of

You’ll be all right in a couple of days.

2 . [countable] two people who are married or having a sexual or romantic relationship:

a newly married couple

the couple next door

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ adjectives

▪ a young/middle-aged/elderly couple

A young couple with a baby have just moved into the house next door.

▪ a married couple

Under the new rules, a married couple will now receive £20 a week extra.

▪ a newly married couple (=having married not long ago)

Many newly married couples cannot afford to buy their own homes.

▪ an unmarried couple

She rented the room to a young, unmarried couple.

▪ a childless couple (=without children)

Are childless couples more or less likely to split up?

▪ a retired couple (=having finished working at the end of their working lives)

The house is suitable for a retired couple.

▪ the happy couple (=the bride and bridegroom at their wedding)

Guests stood around the happy couple, their glasses raised.

▪ a perfect couple (=a couple that seem very suitable for each other)

Emily and John seemed a perfect couple.

▪ a courting couple old-fashioned (=having a romantic relationship, often planning to get married later)

The path by the river is a popular area for courting couples.

■ phrases

▪ they make a lovely couple (=look very attractive together/suit each other well)

You two would make a lovely couple.

• • •


▪ pair two things of the same type that you use together. Also used about two people who do something together or who you often see together:

a pair of shoes


a pair of socks


Winners will receive a pair of tickets for the show.


The pair were arrested six days after the killing.


They're a funny pair!


The British pair will be playing in the final on Saturday.

▪ a couple (of something) two things of the same type, or a very small number of things:

There were a couple of empty seats at the table.


Do you have any stamps? I just need a couple.

▪ couple noun [countable] two people who are married or having a sexual relationship:

a married couple


The couple met at university.

▪ twins noun [plural] two children who were born on the same day to the same mother:

The twins look very alike.


identical twins

▪ duo noun [countable] two people who perform together or who are often seen together:

a comedy duo

▪ duet noun [countable] a piece of music written for two people to play:

They played a duet by Brahms.

▪ twice two times adverb :

The group meets twice a week.


She sneezed twice.

II. couple 2 AC BrE AmE verb

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ couple , ↑ coupling ; verb : ↑ couple ]

1 . [transitive] to join or fasten two things together

couple something to something

Each element is mathematically coupled to its neighbours.

2 . [intransitive] formal to have sex

couple something with something phrasal verb [usually passive]

if one thing is coupled with another, the two things happen or exist together and produce a particular result SYN combine :

Lack of rain coupled with high temperatures caused the crops to fail.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.