Etymology
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copula (n.)

linking or connecting verb (especially "be"), word which expresses relation between subject and predicate, 1640s, from Latin copula "that which binds, rope, band, bond" (see copulate). Related: Copular.

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Definitions of copula

copula (n.)
an equating verb (such as `be' or `become') that links the subject with the complement of a sentence;
Synonyms: copulative / linking verb
From wordnet.princeton.edu