Definition of couplet in English:



  • Two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme, that form a unit.

    • ‘The leaf illustrated here is inscribed with a couplet by one of China's greatest poets.’
    • ‘The concluding couplet of this stanza tells us what the nativity will do by systematically listing the state of things before the birth and the conditions brought into the world by it.’
    • ‘The rondeau given below, by Adam de la Halle, shows its typical layout as a single-stanza poem of four couplets.’
    • ‘He fits the description of a Romantic Poet perfectly, wandering dazed by nature and inactivity through sun-dappled fields, his sad eyes melting before the passionate couplets forming in the wellspring of his engorged imagination.’
    • ‘Almost any form is acceptable - limerick, haiku, free verse, couplets, anything but epic poetry.’
    • ‘The lines form couplets joined in quatrains.’
    • ‘If a character gets hungry, they croon couplets like "I am starving, I must eat / a piece of bread or a hunk of meat."’
    • ‘Sonnet 126 is, unusually, a poem in six rhymed couplets rather than a sonnet proper.’
    • ‘His four-line verses or quatrains, each of two rhymed couplets, were written in groups of 100, known as Centuries.’
    • ‘Many primary grade pupils enjoy rhyme in a couplet when writing poetry.’
    • ‘Single couplets of course form a significant category, as do longer poems composed of rhyming pentameter couplets.’
    • ‘Alexander Pope was satirically dismissive in a memorable couplet: 'On painted ceilings you devoutly stare/ Where sprawl the saints of Verrio and Laguerre.'’
    • ‘The source texts are then reformed into single aphoristic lines, couplets, quatrains, and whole poems.’
    • ‘It was translated into English iambic pentameter with rhymed couplets.’
    • ‘It's written in tetrameter couplets, a form much more congenial to midcentury writers.’
    • ‘In 1705 he published The Campaign, a poem in heroic couplets in celebration of the victory of Blenheim.’
    • ‘Both rely heavily on rhyme, favoring couplets but committed to casual or accidental placement rather than to any definite scheme.’
    • ‘It is composed in fluent, almost chatty couplets, with marvellous evocations of the deserted Venetian lido and twinkling lagoon: 'I love all waste / And solitary places; where we taste / The pleasure of believing what we see / Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be.'’
    • ‘He issued in 1715 the first volume of his translation in heroic couplets of Homer's Iliad.’
    • ‘The first couplet, known as the refrain, is repeated at the end.’
    stanza, strophe, stave, canto
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: from French, diminutive of couple, from Old French cople (see couple).