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From Middle English couplynge; equivalent to couple +‎ -ing.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkʌplɪŋ/
  • (file)


coupling (plural couplings)

  1. Act of joining together to form a couple.
    • 1960 June, “Talking of trains: The new Margam yard”, in Trains Illustrated, page 323:
      It is the first British yard in which every activity of hump marshalling, except for the driving of the hump locomotive and the uncoupling and coupling of wagons, is fully automatic or drastically simplified by modern aids.
  2. A device that couples two things together.
  3. (software engineering) The degree of reliance between two or more software modules.
    Synonym: dependency
    Coordinate term: cohesion
    • 2009, Robert C. Martin, chapter 10, in Clean Code, Prentice Hall, →ISBN, page 150:
      The lack of coupling means that the elements of our system are better isolated from each other and from change. This isolation makes it easier to understand each element of the system.
  4. (electronics) A connection between two electronic circuits such that a signal can pass between them.
  5. (physics) The property of physical systems that they are interacting with each other
  6. (sexuality) Sexual intercourse.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:copulation
    • 2022 March 20, Jason Bailey, “‘Basic Instinct’ at 30: A Time Capsule That Can Still Offend”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      The biggest film of March 1992 was “Basic Instinct,” an erotic thriller featuring an established movie star in explicit onscreen couplings with a sexy up-and-comer.


Related terms[edit]




  1. present participle of couple

Further reading[edit]

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of couplynge