mid-14c., from Old French couche (12c.) "a bed, lair," from coucher "to lie down," from Latin collocare (see couch (v.)). Traditionally, a couch has the head end only raised, and only half a back; a sofa has both ends raised and a full back; a settee is like a sofa but may be without arms; an ottoman has neither back nor arms, nor has a divan, the distinctive feature of which is that it goes against a wall. Couch potato first recorded 1979.
c. 1300, "to overlay with gold, inlay," from Old French couchier "to lay down, place; go to bed, put to bed," from Latin collocare "to lay, place, station, arrange," from com- "together" (see com-) + locare "to place," from locus "a place" (see locus). Meaning "to put into words" is from 1520s. Related: Couched; couching. Heraldic couchant ("lying down with the head up") is late 15c., from the French present participle.
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