Partnership vs Couple - What's the difference?

partnership | couple |

As nouns the difference between partnership and couple

is that partnership is the state of being associated with a partner while couple is two partners in a romantic or sexual relationship.

As a determiner couple is

(informal) a small number of.

As a verb couple is

to join (two things) together, or (one thing) to (another).



  • The state of being associated with a partner.
  • An association of two or more people to conduct a business,
  • (cricket) The period when two specific batsmen are batting, from the fall of one wicket until the fall of the next; the number of runs scored during this period,
  • Derived terms

    * limited partnership * public-private partnership




    (en noun)
  • Two partners in a romantic or sexual relationship.
  • * 1729 , (Jonathan Swift), (A Modest Proposal)
  • I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders;
  • Two of the same kind connected or considered together.
  • * 1839 , (Charles Dickens), (Nicholas Nickleby)
  • (label) A small number.
  • * 1839 , (Charles Dickens), (Nicholas Nickleby)
  • A couple of billiard balls, all mud and dirt, two battered hats, a champagne bottle
  • * 1891 , (Arthur Conan Doyle), (The Adventure of the Red-Headed League)
  • ‘Oh, merely a couple of hundred a year, but the work is slight, and it need not interfere very much with one’s other occupations.’
  • * 1902 , , Across Coveted Lands :
  • When we got on board again after a couple of hours on shore
  • * , chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage=Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ […].” So I started to back away again into the bushes. But I hadn't backed more'n a couple of yards when I see something so amazing that I couldn't help scooching down behind the bayberries and looking at it.}}
  • *{{quote-book, year=1959, author=(Georgette Heyer), title=(The Unknown Ajax), chapter=1
  • , passage=And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.}}
  • One of the pairs of plates of two metals which compose a voltaic battery, called a voltaic couple or galvanic couple.
  • (label) Two forces that are equal in magnitude but opposite in direction (and acting along parallel lines), thus creating the turning effect of a torque or moment.
  • (label) A couple-close.
  • (label) That which joins or links two things together; a bond or tie; a coupler.
  • * (w, Roger L'Estrange) (1616-1704)
  • It is in some sort with friends as it is with dogs in couples ; they should be of the same size and humour.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • I'll go in couples with her.

    Usage notes

    * The traditional and still most broadly accepted usage of be used only as a noun and not as a determiner in formal writing. * "A couple of things" or people may be used to mean two of them, but it is also often used to mean any small number. *: The farm is a couple of miles off the main highway [=a few miles away]. *: We’re going out to a restaurant with a couple of friends [=two friends]. *: Wait a couple of minutes [=two minutes or more].


    * (two partners) * (two things of the same kind) brace, pair * (a small number of) few, handful

    Derived terms

    * bridal couple * coupla * couplezilla * couple-close * galvanic couple * voltaic couple


  • (informal) A small number of.
  • Verb

  • To join (two things) together, or (one thing) to (another).
  • Now the conductor will couple the train cars.
    I've coupled our system to theirs.
  • (dated) To join in wedlock; to marry.
  • * (rfdate),
  • A parson who couples all our beggars.
  • To join in sexual intercourse; to copulate.
  • * 1987 Alan Norman Bold & Robert Giddings, Who was really who in fiction, Longman
  • On their wedding night they coupled nine times.
  • * 2001 John Fisher & Geoff Garvey, The rough guide to Crete, p405
  • She had the brilliant inventor and craftsman Daedalus construct her an artificial cow, in which she hid and induced the bull to couple with her [...]

    Derived terms

    * coupling (noun) * decouple, decoupled * uncouple