Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A verb, such as a form of be or seem, that identifies the predicate of a sentence with the subject.
  • noun Logic The word or set of words that serves as a link between the subject and predicate of a proposition.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In grammar and logic, that word or part of a proposition which expresses the relation between the subject and the predicate.
  • noun In an organ, same as coupler.
  • noun In anatomy, some coupling or connecting part, usually distinguished by a qualifying term; especially, a median bone or cartilage connecting hyoidean and branchial arches, and also uniting opposite halves of these arches respectively, as a basibranchial.
  • noun In law, sexual intercourse.
  • noun In botany, same as zygospore.
  • noun In zoology, the cell resulting from the union of a microgamete and a macrogamete among the Sporozoa.
  • noun In chem., one compound substance united with and modifying the character of another. See copulated compound.
  • noun A commissure; the corpus callosum.
  • noun In music, a brief connecting passage, especially between the subject and answer of a fugue. Also called codetta or conduit.
  • noun Same as amboceptor.
  • noun In ichthyology, same as actinost.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Logic & Gram.) The word which unites the subject and predicate.
  • noun (Mus.) The stop which connects the manuals, or the manuals with the pedals; -- called also coupler.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun grammar A word used to link the subject of a sentence with a predicate (usually a subject complement or an adverbial); it serves to unite (or associate) the subject with the predicate. (e.g. be).
  • noun statistics A function that represents the association between two or more variables, independent of the individual marginal distributions of the variables.
  • noun music A device that connects two or more keyboards of an organ

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an equating verb (such as `be' or `become') that links the subject with the complement of a sentence

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin cōpula, link.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowed from Latin copula ("bond, tie"). See there for details.

Examples

Comments

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  • I love the first example sentence:

    "W hen I read the piece on Judge Roy Moore, I was treated to an amazing piece of trivia: the curious "fact" that the granite monument, while on the road, was subject to "what truckers call 'fuck bugs' (Plecia nearctica to entomologists), which swarm in copula for hours at a time, especially near the Gulf, and as a consequence — truckers and entomologists agree — make twice the splat of anything else you're likely to encounter.""

    --Letters to the editor of The Atlantic

    January 5, 2011

  • "Capitalism and religion, W. says. Or, in my case, failed capitalism and failed religion. Somehow, I'm the key to his project, W. says. Somehow I'm the key to the copula, though he's not sure how."

    Dogma by Lars Iyer, p 12

    June 8, 2012