couple

coupleable, adj.
/kup"euhl/, n., v., coupled, coupling.
n.
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. Mech. 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 121/2 couple.
8. 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. Also, a couple.
v.t.
9. to fasten, link, or associate together in a pair or pairs.
10. to join; connect.
11. to unite in marriage or in sexual union.
12. Elect.
a. to join or associate by means of a coupler.
b. to bring (two electric circuits or circuit components) close enough to permit an exchange of electromagnetic energy.
v.i.
13. to join in a pair; unite.
14. to copulate.
[1175-1225; (n.) ME < AF c(o)uple, OF cople, cuple < L copula a tie, bond (see COPULA); (v.) ME couplen < AF co(u)pler, OF copler, cupler < L copulare (see COPULATE)]
Usage. The phrase A COUPLE OF 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. Without a following noun, the phrase is highly informal: Jack shouldn't drive. I think 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.

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In physics, a pair of equal parallel forces that are opposite in direction.

Couples produce or prevent the turning of a body. The forces used to turn the steering wheel of a car constitute a couple; each hand exerts a force, parallel but opposite in direction, yet they work together to achieve the same goal. A couple is also used to turn a screwdriver or a doorknob, and the pair of forces acting on the opposite poles of a compass needle as it points somewhere between north and south are a couple.

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      in mechanics, pair of equal parallel forces that are opposite in direction. The only effect of a couple is to produce or prevent the turning of a body. The turning effect, or moment, of a couple is measured by the product of the magnitude of either force and the perpendicular distance between the action lines of the forces.

      The steering wheel of an automobile is turned by hand forces that constitute a couple, and a screwdriver is twisted by the equivalent of a couple. A wrench, on the other hand, is actuated by a force applied at one end only, and, in addition to the turning moment, it creates an unbalanced force on the element being tightened.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • couple — [ kupl ] n. m. et f. • cople 1190; lat. copula « lien, liaison » I ♦ N. f. 1 ♦ Vén. Lien servant à attacher ensemble deux ou plusieurs animaux de même espèce. 2 ♦ Vx ou Région. Deux choses de même espèce. « une bonne couple de soufflets » (Mme de …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • couplé — couple [ kupl ] n. m. et f. • cople 1190; lat. copula « lien, liaison » I ♦ N. f. 1 ♦ Vén. Lien servant à attacher ensemble deux ou plusieurs animaux de même espèce. 2 ♦ Vx ou Région. Deux choses de même espèce. « une bonne couple de soufflets »… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Couple — Cou ple (k[u^]p l), n. [F. couple, fr. L. copula a bond, band; co + apere, aptum, to join. See {Art}, a., and cf. {Copula}.] 1. That which joins or links two things together; a bond or tie; a coupler. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] It is in some sort with …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • couple — 1. Couple, as in ‘a couple of…’, needs to be used and understood with care, as it retains its original meaning of ‘two’ alongside its more informal meaning ‘a few’. A couple of friends will usually mean two friends, no more or less, whereas a… …   Modern English usage

  • couple — COUPLE. s. f. Deux choses de mesme espece qu on met ensemble. Une couple d oeufs. une couple de chapons. une couple de boëtes de confitures. une couple de bouteilles de vin. donnez m en une couple. ne luy en envoyez pas pour un, il faut luy… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • couple — COUPLE. subst. fém. Deux choses de même espèce qu on met ensemble. Une couple d oeufs. Une couple de chapons. Une couple de boîtes de confitures. Donnez m en une couple. [b]f♛/b] Il ne se dit jamais Des choses qui vont nécessairement ensemble,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • couple — n Couple, pair, brace, yoke are comparable when meaning two things of the same kind. Couple applies to two things of the same sort, regarded as in some way associated, but not necessarily (except in the case of a married or mated pair) matched or …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • couple — Couple, f. C est ce qui se consiste en deux ou de deux, ou pour mieux dire les deux choses mesmes, comme une couple de chevaux, Par equorum. Il vient de Copula, qui vient de Copulare, mettre deux choses de mesme espece ensemble: car on ne dira… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • couplé — couplé, ée (kou plé, plée) part. passé. Attaché avec une couple. •   ....Je vois qu ils se soucient D avoir chevaux à leur char attelés De même taille, et mêmes chiens couplés, LA FONT. Cal.. •   Nous fûmes envoyés au bagne couplés comme des… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • couple — [kup′əl] n. [ME < OFr cople < L copula, a band, link: see COPULA] 1. anything joining two things together; bond; link 2. two things or persons of the same sort that are somehow associated 3. two people, esp. a man and woman, who are engaged …   English World dictionary

  • Couple — Cou ple, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Coupled} (k[u^]p ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Coupling} (k[u^]p l[i^]ng).] [F. coupler, fr. L. copulare. See {Couple}, n., and cf. {Copulate}, {Cobble}, v.] [1913 Webster] 1. To link or tie, as one thing to another; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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