Dictionary: COUCH – COUN'SEL

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COUCH, v.i. [Fr. couche, a bed; coucher, to lay down; Norm. couche, a couch, and laid double; Sp. gacho, bent down, slouching; agacharse, to stoop, to crouch; Port. agacharse, acaçaparse, to stoop, crouch, or squat; Arm. coacha and scoacha, our vulgar scooch; D. hukken; G. hocken; Dan. huger. The primary sense is to lay or throw down. See Class Cg, Gk, No. 7, 8, 9.]

  1. To lie down, as on a bed or place of repose.
  2. To lie down on the knees; to stoop and recline on the knees, as a beast. Fierce tigers couched around. – Dryden.
  3. To lie down in secret or in ambush; to lie close and concealed. The earl of Angus couched in a furrow. – Hayward. Judah couched as a lion. – Gen. xlix.
  4. To lie; to lie in a bed or stratum. Blessed of the Lord be his land … for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath. – Deut. xxxiii.
  5. To stoop; to bend the body or back; to lower in reverence, or to bend under labor, pain, or a burden. Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two burdens. – Gen. xlix. These couchings, and these lowly courtesies. – Shak.

COUCH, v.t.

  1. To lay down; to repose on a bed or place of rest. Where unbruised youth, with unstuffed brain, / Doth couch his limbs. – Shak.
  2. To lay down; to spread on a bed or floor; as, to couch malt. – Mortimer.
  3. To lay close, or in a stratum. The waters couch themselves, as close as may be, to the center of the globe. – Burnet.
  4. To hide; lay close, or in another body. It is in use at this day, to couch vessels in walls, to gather the wind from the top, and pass it down in spouts into rooms. – Bacon.
  5. To include secretly; to hide; or to express in obscure terms, that imply what is to be understood; with under. All this, and more, lies couched under this allegory. – L'Estrange. Hence,
  6. To involve; to include; to comprise; to comprehend or express. This great argument for a future state, which St. Paul hath couched in the words read. – Atterbury.
  7. To lie close. – Spenser.
  8. To fix a spear in the rest, in the posture of attack. They couched their spears. – Milton. Dryden.
  9. To depress the condensed crystaline humor or film that overspreads the pupil of the eye. – Johnson. To remove a cataract, by entering a needle through the coats of the eye, and pushing the lens to the bottom of the vitreous humor, and then downward and outward, so as to leave it in the under and outside of the eye. – Encyc. The true phrase is, to couch a cataract; but we say, to couch the eye, or the patient.

COUCH'ANT, a. [Fr. See Couch.]

Lying down; squatting. In heraldry, lying down with the head raised, which distinguishes the posture of couchant from that of dormant, or sleeping; applied to a lion or other beast. – Encyc. Levant and couchant, in law, rising up and lying down; applied to beasts, and indicating that they have been long enough on land to lie down and rise up to feed, or one night at least. – Blackstone.


Laid down; laid on; hid; included or involved; laid close; fixed in the rest, as a spear; depressed or removed, as a cataract.

COUCH'EE, n. [Fr.]

Bedtime; late visiting at night. – Dryden.


  1. One who couches cataracts.
  2. In old English statutes, a factor; a resident in a country for traffick. – Encyc.
  3. A book in which a religious house register their acts. – Encyc.


A bed fellow; a companion in lodging.


Agropyron repens, a species of grass, very injurious to other plants.


The act of stooping or bowing. – Shak.


Lying down; laying clown; lying close; involving; including; expressing; depressing a cataract.


Having no couch or bed.

COUGH, n. [kauf. Qu. D. kuch.]

The elements are not both of the same organ; but gh and f are sometimes interchanged, as in rough, ruff. See Class Cg, No. 29, 36. In Pers. خفَتَه chaftah, and خَفَه chafa, is a cough.] A violent effort of the lungs to throw off offending matter; a violent, sometimes involuntary, and sonorous expiration, suddenly expelling the air through the glottis. The violent action of the muscles serving for expiration gives great force to the air, while the contraction of the glottis produces the sound. The air forced violently carries along with it the phlegm or irritating matter which causes the effort of the muscles. – Encyc.

COUGH, v.i.

To make a violent effort with noise to expel the air from the lungs, and evacuate any offending matter that irritates the parts or renders respiration difficult.

COUGH, v.t.

To expel from the lungs by a violent effort with noise; to expectorate; followed by up; as, to cough up phlegm.


One that coughs.


Expelling from the lungs by a violent effort with noise; expectorating.

COULD, v. [pron. COOD. The past tense of can, according to our customary arrangement in grammar; but in reality a distinct word, can having no past tense. Could, we receive through the Celtic dialects, W. gallu, Corn. gally, Arm. gallout, to be able; Heb. יכל, Ch. כהל, Eth. ከህለ to be able, to prevail; L. calleo. Either of the Oriental verbs may be the root, and all may be of one family. In the past tense, could signifies, was able, had power.]

  1. Had sufficient strength or physical power. A sick man could not lift his hand. Isaac was old and could not see. Alexander could easily conquer the effeminate Asiatics.
  2. Had adequate means or instruments. The men could defray their own expenses. The country was exhausted and could not support the war.
  3. Had adequate moral power. We heard the story, but could not believe it. The intemperate man could have restrained his appetite for strong drink. He could have refrained, if he would. My mind could not be toward this people. – Jer. xv.
  4. Had power or capacity by the laws of its nature. The tree could not grow for want of water.
  5. Had competent legal power; had right, or had the requisite qualifications. Formerly, a citizen could not vote for officers of government without the possession of some property. A B could not be elected to the office of senator, for want of estate. B C, not being of the blood of the ancestor, could not inherit his estate.
  6. Had sufficient capacity. The world could not contain the books. – John xxi.
  7. Was capable or susceptible, by its nature or constitution, as of some change. He found a substance that could not be fused.
  8. Had adequate strength or fortitude; as, he could not endure the pain or the reproach.
  9. Had motives sufficient to overcome objections. He thought at first he could not comply with the request; but after consideration he determined to comply.
  10. Had competent knowledge or skill. He could solve the most difficult problems.




A vegetable proximate principle obtained from the Dipterix odorata. It is used in medicine; and it gives flavor to the Swiss cheese, called schabzieger.

COUN'CIL, n. [Fr. concile; Sp. concilio; It. conciglio, concilio; from L. concilium; con and calo, to call, Gr. καλεω, W. galw, Ch. כלא, in Aph., to call. See Hold. Class Gl. This word is often confounded with counsel, with which it has no connection. Council is a collection or assembly.]

  1. An assembly of men summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation and advice. The kings of England were formerly assisted by a grand council of peers. The chief priests and all the council sought false witness. – Matth. xx. The word is applicable to any body of men, appointed or convened for consultation and advice, in important affairs; as, a council of divines or clergymen, with their lay delegates; a council of war, consisting of the principal officers, to advise the commander in chief or admiral; a council of physicians, to consult and advise in difficult cases of disease.
  2. A body of men specially designated to advise a chief magistrate in the administration of the government, as in Great Britain.
  3. In some of the American states, a branch of the legislature, corresponding with the senate in other states, and called legislative council. – New Jersey.
  4. An assembly of prelates and doctors, convened for regulating matters of doctrine and discipline in the church.
  5. Act of deliberation; consultation of a council. – Milton. Common-Council of a city. In London, a court consisting of the lord mayor and aldermen in one house, and of representatives of the several wards, called common-councilmen, in the other. But more generally the common-council is considered as the body of representatives of the citizens, as distinct from the mayor and aldermen. Thus, in Connecticut, the cities are incorporated by the name of “The Mayor, Aldermen, Common-Council, and Freemen, of the city of Hartford, New Haven, &c.” Ecumenical Council, in Church history, a general council or assembly of prelates and doctors, representing the whole church; as, the council of Nice, of Ephesus, and of Chalcedon. Encyc. Privy Council, a select council for advising a king in the administration of the government. Aulic Council. [See Aulic.]


Council-table; the table round which a council holds consultation. Hence, the council itself in deliberation or session.


The member of a council. [See Counselor.]



CO-U-NITE', v.t.

To unite. [Not used.]

COUN'SEL, n. [Fr. counseil; Arm. consailh; It. consiglio; Sp. consejo; Port. conselho; from L. consilium, from the root of consulo, to consult, which is probably the Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. Eth. שאל, Ar. سَأَلَ saula, to ask. Class Sl, No. 16, 42. The radical sense of the verb, to ask, is to set upon, urge, or press. Hence the Oriental verb is probably the root of the L. salio, assilio, or from the same root. See the like analogies in L. peto, to ask, to assail.]

  1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation. Every purpose is established by counsel. – Prov. xx. Thou hast not hearkened to my counsel. – 2 Chron. xxv.
  2. Consultation; interchange of opinions. We took sweet counsel together. – Ps. lv.
  3. Deliberation; examination of consequences. They all confess that, in the working of that first cause, counsel is used, reason followed, and a way observed. – Hooker.
  4. Prudence; deliberate opinion or judgment, or the faculty or habit of judging with caution. O how comely is the wisdom of old men, and understanding and counsel to men of honor. – Ecclus. xxv. The law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients. – Ezek. vii.
  5. In a bad sense, evil advice or designs; art; machination. The counsel of the froward is carried headlong. – Job. v.
  6. Secrecy; the secrets intrusted in consultation; secret opinions or purposes. Let a man keep his own counsel.
  7. In a Scriptural sense, purpose; design; will; decree. What thy counsel determined before to be done. – Acts iv. To show the immutability of his counsel. – Heb. vi.
  8. Directions of God's word. Thou shalt guide me by thy counsel. – Ps. lxxiii.
  9. The will of God or his truth and doctrines concerning the way of salvation. I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God. – Acts xx.
  10. Those who give counsel in law; any counselor or advocate, or any number of counselors, barristers or sergeants; as, the plaintif's counsel, or the defendant's counsel. The attorney-general and solicitor-general are the king's counsel. In this sense the word has no plural; but in the singular number, is applicable to one or more persons.