pair

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French paire, from Latin paria (equals), neuter plural of pār.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pair (plural pairs or pair)

  1. Two similar or identical things taken together; often followed by of.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18: 
      Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet. Perhaps we assume that our name, address and search preferences will be viewed by some unseen pair of corporate eyes, probably not human, and don't mind that much.
    I couldn't decide which of the pair of designer shirts I preferred, so I bought the pair.
  2. Two people in a relationship, partnership (especially sexual) or friendship.
    Spouses should make a great pair.
  3. Used with binary nouns (often in the plural to indicate multiple instances, since such nouns are plurale tantum)
    a pair of scissors; two pairs of spectacles; several pairs of jeans
  4. A couple of working animals attached to work together, as by a yoke.
    A pair is harder to drive than two mounts with separate riders.
  5. (card games) A poker hand that contains of two cards of identical rank, which cannot also count as a better hand.
  6. (cricket) A score of zero runs (a duck) in both innings of a two-innings match
  7. (baseball, informal) A double play, two outs recorded in one play
    They turned a pair to end the fifth.
  8. (baseball, informal) A doubleheader, two games played on the same day between the same teams
    The Pirates took a pair from the Phillies.
  9. (slang) A pair of breasts
    She's got a gorgeous pair.
  10. (Australia, politics) The exclusion of one member of a parliamentary party from a vote, if a member of the other party is absent for important personal reasons.
  11. Two members of opposite parties or opinion, as in a parliamentary body, who mutually agree not to vote on a given question, or on issues of a party nature during a specified time.
    There were two pairs on the final vote.
  12. (archaic) A number of things resembling one another, or belonging together; a set.
    • Charles Dickens
      plunging myself into poverty and shabbiness and love in one room up three pair of stairs
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      Two crowns in my pocket, two pair of cards.
  13. (kinematics) In a mechanism, two elements, or bodies, which are so applied to each other as to mutually constrain relative motion; named in accordance with the motion it permits, as in turning pair, sliding pair, twisting pair.
Synonyms[edit]
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Translations[edit]
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Verb[edit]

pair (third-person singular simple present pairs, present participle pairing, simple past and past participle paired)

  1. (transitive) To group into sets of two.
    • Alexander Pope
      Glossy jet is paired with shining white.
    The wedding guests were paired boy/girl and groom's party/bride's party.
  2. (transitive) To bring two (animals, notably dogs) together for mating.
  3. (politics, slang) To engage (oneself) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions.
  4. (intransitive) To suit; to fit, as a counterpart.
    • Rowe
      My heart was made to fit and pair with thine.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Verb[edit]

pair (third-person singular simple present pairs, present participle pairing, simple past and past participle paired)

  1. (obsolete) To impair.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)

Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Verb[edit]

pair (first-person singular present paeixo, past participle paït)

  1. to digest
  2. to handle, to cope with

Conjugation[edit]

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin par (equal).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

pair m (feminine paire, masculine plural pairs, feminine plural paires)

  1. (of a number) even

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Related terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

pair m (plural pairs)

  1. A peer, high nobleman/vassal (as in peer of the realm)
  2. In tennis, the score deuce

Antonyms[edit]

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External links[edit]


Romansch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (Sursilvan, Sutsilvan) pér
  • (Surmiran) peir

Etymology[edit]

From Latin pirum.

Noun[edit]

pair m (plural pairs)

  1. (Rumantsch Grischun, Puter, Vallader) pear

Related terms[edit]