A couch (American English), also known as a sofa, chesterfield or settee (British English) is a piece of furniture for seating three or more people in the form of a bench, with or without armrests, that is partially or entirely upholstered, and often fitted with springs and tailored cushions. Although a couch is used primarily for seating, it may be used for sleeping.
In homes, couches are normally found in the family room, living room, den, or the lounge. They are sometimes also found in non-residential settings such as hotels, lobbies of commercial offices, waiting rooms, and bars.
The term couch is predominantly used in North America, South Africa and Australia whereas the terms sofa and settee (U and non-U) are generally used in the United Kingdom. The word couch originated in Middle English from the Old French noun couche, which derived from the verb meaning “to lie down”. It originally denoted an item of furniture for lying or sleeping on, somewhat like a chaise longue, but now refers to sofas in general. The word sofa comes from Turkish and is derived from the Arabic word suffa (“wool”), originating in the Aramaic word sippa (“mat”). The word settee comes from the Old English word, setl, which was used to describe long benches with high backs and arms, but is now generally used to describe upholstered seating.
Other terms which can be synonymous with the above definition are chesterfield (Canada), divan, davenport, lounge, and canapé.