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Couch, vb. 1) intr. a) to lie: “as fortunate a bed as ever Beatrice shall c. upon,” Ado III, 1, 46. Merch. V, 305. Oth. IV, 3, 57. Ant. IV, 14, 51.
b) to lie down in the manner of a beast, and hence to stoop: “a lioness lay --ing, head on ground,” As IV, 3, 116. H4A III, 1, 153. Per. III Prol. 6. “I'll wink and c.; no man their works must eye,” Wiv. V, 5, 52. “England shall c. down in fear,” H5 IV, 2, 37.
c) to lie close and hidden, to stand close: “there I c. when owls do cry,” Tp. V, 90. “we'll c. in the castle-ditch,” Wiv. V, 2, 1. “but c., lo! here he comes,” All's IV, 1, 24. “where bloody murder or detested rape can c. for fear,” Tit. V, 2, 38. “c. we awhile and mark,” Hml. V, 1, 245. “this night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would c.” Lr. III, 1, 12.
2) trans. a) to lay down: “his body --ed in a curious bed,” H6C II, 5, 53. “c. his limbs,” Rom. II, 3, 38. Singular expression: “I espy virtue with valour --ed in thine eye,” R2 I, 3, 98 (== lying, dwelling).
b) to make to stoop and lie close: “a falcon towering in the skies --eth the fowl below with his wings' shade,” Lucr. 507. Partic. couched == lying or standing close and concealed: “they are all --ed in a pit,” Wiv. V, 3, 14. “is --ed in the woodbine coverture,” Ado III, 1, 30. “sorrow that is --ed in seeming gladness.” Troil. I, 1, 39. “one cloud of winter showers, these flies are --ed,” Tim. II, 2, 181. “when he lay --ed in the ominous horse,” Hml. II, 2, 476.
c) to fix a spear in the rest: “a braver soldier never --ed lance,” H6A III, 2, 134.
d) to express, to clothe: “ignominious words, though clerkly --ed,” H6B III, 1, 179.
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