Carboxylic acid functionalized graphene oxide-copper (II) sulfide nanoparticle composite (GO-COOH-CuS) was prepared from carboxylated graphene oxide and copper precursor in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) by a facile synthesis process at room temperature. The high-effective combination, the interaction between GO-COOH sheets and CuS nanoparticles, and the enhanced visible light absorption were confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS) and Photoluminescence (PL) spectra. The as-synthesized GO-COOH-CuS nanocomposite exhibited excellent photocatalytic degradation performance of phenol and rhodamine B, high antibacterial activity toward E. coli and B. subtilis, and good recovery and reusability. The influence of CuS content, the synergistic reaction between CuS and GO-COOH, and the charge-transfer mechanism were systematically investigated. The facile and low-energy synthesis process combined with the excellent degradation and antibacterial performance signify that the GO-COOH-CuS has a great potential for water treatment application.