Definition of couch in English:



  • 1A long upholstered piece of furniture for several people to sit on.

    • ‘It lacked a great deal of furniture; it only had a couch, a table, a fireplace, a book case, and some paintings on the walls.’
    • ‘Beds, couches and other furniture became higher with changes in sitting posture, since people began to sit on chairs with their legs hanging down.’
    • ‘These prices are inclusive of a full furniture package to include beds, wardrobes, couches, curtains, tables and chairs.’
    • ‘When the elevator stopped, I walked down to the lobby and sat on the middle of the three couches, the couch that faced the front desk.’
    • ‘David gets up and drags the coffee table towards the couch and sits back down, resting his feet on the edge of the table.’
    • ‘Inside, it was even worse; the furniture was just old couches and chairs that were too old and wrecked to be used in a real house.’
    • ‘His eye fell on the coffee table before his couch, and puzzledly, he picked up the small piece of paper on it.’
    • ‘The second suggestion was to replace desks and chairs with couches and loveseats in classrooms.’
    • ‘The room was almost empty except for the random couch, table, desk, and a large plant in the far corner.’
    • ‘Furniture includes chairs and couches upholstered in amber, magenta, and burgundy.’
    • ‘Soft, cushioned and immensely appealing couches were the only pieces of furniture in the room.’
    • ‘The house was very nice, with warm honey brown wood furniture and overstuffed couches; it gave off a homey feeling.’
    • ‘On the opposite side of the room were a futon couch and a coffee table.’
    • ‘The place was bare of furniture except for the couch.’
    • ‘There was couches, sofas, chairs, and tables everywhere.’
    • ‘The only actual piece of furniture was a worn couch placed in the middle of the room, facing the far wall.’
    • ‘In its quiet, subtle lighting sat numerous chairs, couches, and end tables.’
    • ‘Another way to revive your tired furniture, like couches and chairs, is to get them re-upholstered.’
    • ‘He hung up the phone and pulled a chair from the kitchen over to the couch and sat down.’
    • ‘Joan opted for the two-seater couch and sat stiffly at the edge of it.’
    settee, sofa, divan, chaise longue, chesterfield, love seat, settle, ottoman
    day bed, davenport, studio couch, sectional
    canapé, tête-à-tête
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    1. 1.1A reclining seat with a headrest at one end on which a psychoanalyst's subject or doctor's patient lies while undergoing treatment.
      • ‘The Rotary club has also raised funds to buy a new examination couch, costing £350.’
      • ‘I lie on the rectangular couch of Doctor James.’
      • ‘Although I had never encountered status asthmaticus, the patient struggling for breath on the examination couch fitted the image locked in my memory.’
      • ‘I bring it up on my therapist's couch later that day.’
      • ‘Like a patient on a psychiatrist's couch, it all comes tumbling out.’
      • ‘They enter his office to be faced with a comfortable leather sofa and an examination couch, complete with stirrups.’
      • ‘What he really needs is a lot of time on a psychiatrist's couch.’
      • ‘He belongs on a psychiatrist's couch, not inside a boxing ring.’
      • ‘Ashley zoned in to find her doctor standing next to the examination couch.’
      • ‘Here I am thirteen years later, sobbing on a therapist's couch.’
      • ‘The patient lies on a couch and the bite block is placed into their mouth.’
      • ‘A bather reclines on a couch, enjoying a massage, while a fountain splashes nearby.’
      • ‘One UK department introduced a system where a doctor saw all patients with minor injuries that did not need an examination couch or an urgent intervention.’
      • ‘I was dressed in scrubs and I threw my ID badge under the examination couch.’
      • ‘I'm lying on a treatment couch at the Healing Clinic.’


  • 1Express (something) in language of a specified style.

    ‘many false claims are couched in scientific jargon’
    • ‘Rejections of such proposals are often couched in general and conceptual terms, but pragmatic calculations are almost certainly more important.’
    • ‘Though they are couched in very polite language, they are bombshells nonetheless.’
    • ‘Accordingly, in addition to simple differences in plot, the two storylines are couched in entirely different styles, settings, and contexts.’
    • ‘Their arguments are attractive because they are couched in mathematical or scientific terms and backed by what seems to be scientific competence.’
    • ‘The plan is couched in the language of humanitarianism and democracy.’
    • ‘Relying on testimonials by interested parties is unreasonable, even if the testimonial is couched in terms of scientific data.’
    • ‘Dreams are not couched in the language of everyday speech, but it does not follow that they are necessarily concealing something unacceptable.’
    • ‘And certainly they think that to convey it to a sports audience they must couch it in those terms.’
    • ‘In other words, although his argument is couched in the language of economics, he implicitly suggests that open source development occurs outside of the market.’
    • ‘Memos and reports are often couched in bureaucratic language and jargon.’
    • ‘But once an issue is couched in the language of civil rights, its outcome is no longer in doubt.’
    • ‘Since all meditative experiences are so radically subjective it seems difficult to find a language in which to couch an objective or value-free account of them.’
    • ‘The irony is that they believed they had couched their decision in language no-one would find offensive.’
    • ‘Her love of the reef is couched in the language of the nature study and science of her time.’
    • ‘Notice how frequently they couch immoral concepts in language using the word ‘moral’?’
    • ‘While the economists' statement was couched in fairly mild language, an editorial in last Tuesday's edition of the Financial Times was positively scathing.’
    • ‘The assessment is couched in general and ambiguous terms that can apply to almost anyone.’
    • ‘Yet these demands are deliberately couched in the language of human rights and freedoms.’
    • ‘Of the three, the last is poetry couched in a simple language that can be understood even by those who have a basic knowledge of Sanskrit.’
    • ‘Many of these claims for interactivity are couched in terms that cast the individual as a consumer rather than a citizen.’
    express, phrase, word, frame, put, formulate, style, render, set forth, put across, convey, communicate, say, state, utter, voice
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  • 2literary [no object] Lie down.

    ‘two creatures couched side by side in the deep grass’
  • 3archaic Lower (a spear) to the position for attack.

  • 4historical Treat (a cataract) by pushing the lens of the eye downward and backward, out of line with the pupil.

    • ‘The successful removal of the cataract by the couching method that he advocated and practised as early as in the 18th Century was perhaps as stunning an achievement as those of his British and European counterparts of that era.’
    • ‘The surgeon performed a type of cataract surgery known as couching.’
  • 5(in embroidery) fix (a thread) to a fabric by stitching it down flat with another thread.

    ‘gold and silver threads couched by hand’
    • ‘Try pin-tucking fabric, or couching down decorative threads, embroider by hand or by machine on the fronts, or even try beading an evening vest.’
    • ‘Nine five-clawed dragons are couched in gold thread.’
    • ‘Machine or hand embellishments, from elaborate beading and embroidery to couching with glitzy cords or braids, will enhance your appliqué.’
    • ‘To couch several smaller threads, twist them together before they enter the scroll.’


  • on the couch

    • Undergoing psychoanalysis or psychiatric treatment.

      • ‘All of this sounds a bit too much like the analyst putting himself on the couch.’


Middle English (as a noun denoting something to sleep on; as a verb in the sense lay something down): from Old French couche (noun), coucher (verb), from Latin collocare place together (see collocate).