pair

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See also: Pair

English[edit]

Pair of porcelain Rococo figurines, circa 1755 (sense 1)

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

pair (plural pairs or (archaic or dialectal) pair)

  1. Two similar or identical things taken together; often followed by of.
    • 1834 February, “Boz” [pseudonym; Charles Dickens], “Mrs. Joseph Porter”, in Sketches by “Boz,” Illustrative of Every-day Life, and Every-day People. [], volume II, 2nd edition, London: John Macrone, [], published 1836, OCLC 912950347, page 266:
      Ting, ting, ting! went the bell again. Every body sat down; the curtain shook, rose sufficiently high to display several pair of yellow boots paddling about, and there it remained.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in 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 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 plural only, except in some technical contexts)
    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 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.
    Synonyms: pair of spectacles, spectacles
  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. (rowing) A boat for two sweep rowers.
  10. (slang) A pair of breasts
    She's got a gorgeous pair.
  11. (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.
  12. 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.
  13. (archaic) A number of things resembling one another, or belonging together; a set.
  14. (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.

Usage notes[edit]

The usual plural of pair is pairs. This is a recent innovation; the plural pair was formerly predominant and may be found in older texts like "A Key to Joyce's Arithmetic" (compare Middle English paire, plural paire). That is, a native English speaker, back in the early 19th century, would say 20 pair of shoes, as opposed to today's 20 pairs of shoes. In colloquial or dialectal speech, forms such as 20 pair may still be found; because of their relegation to informal speech, they are now sometimes proscribed.

Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive) To group into one or more sets of two.
    The wedding guests were paired boy/girl and groom's party/bride's party.
    • a. 1744, Alexander Pope, “Sappho to Phaon”, in John Wilson Croker, editor, The Works of Alexander Pope, volume I, new edition, J. Murray, published 1871, pages 94–95:
      Brown as I am, an Ethiopian dame / Inspired young Perseus with a gen’rous flame; / Turtles and doves of diff’ring hues unite, / And glossy jet is paired with shining white.
    • 2015, Microsoft, “How-to: Keyboards”, in http://www.microsoft.com[1], retrieved 2015-02-21:
      If your computer has a built-in, non-Microsoft transceiver, you can pair the device directly to the computer by using your computer’s Bluetooth software configuration program but without using the Microsoft Bluetooth transceiver.
  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.
    • 1707, Nicholas Rowe, The Royal Convert, 2nd edition, Jacob Tonson, published 1714, page 46:
      My Heart was made to fit and pair with thine, / Simple and plain, and fraught with artleſs Tenderneſs; / Form’d to receive one Love, and only one, / But pleas’d and proud, and dearly fond of that, / It knows not what there can be in Variety, / And would not if it could.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Poker hands in English · poker hands (layout · text)
No Pair.png One Pair.png Two Pairs.png Three of a kind.png Straight.png
high card pair two pair three of a kind straight
Flush.png Full.png Poker.png Straight Flush.png Royal Flush.png
flush full house four of a kind straight flush royal flush
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English pairen, peiren, shortened form of apeiren, empeiren, from Old French empeirier, empoirier, from Late Latin peiōrō.

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To impair, to make worse.
    • a. 1376?, Sir Hugh Eglintoun (uncertain), transl., George Panton, editor, The “Gest Hystoriale” of the Destruction of Troy, N. Trübner & Co., translation of Historia destructionis Troiae by Guido delle Colonne, published 1869, page 117:
      Why dreghis þou þis dole, & deris þi seluyn? / Lefe of þis Langore, as my lefe brother, / Þat puttes þe to payne and peires þi sight.
      Why endure this misery, and hurt yourself? / End this disease, my dear brother, / That pains you and impairs your sight.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Innouations”, in The Essayes [], London: [] Iohn Haviland [], published 1632, OCLC 863527675, page 140:
      It were good therefore, that Men in their Innouations, would follow the Example of Time it ſelfe ; which indeed Innouateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees, ſcarce to be perceiued : For otherwiſe, whatſoeuer is New, is vnlooked for ; And euer it mends Some, and paires Other []
    • Template:RQ:Fairy
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To become worse, to deteriorate.

Anagrams[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. to digest
    Synonym: digerir
  2. to handle, to cope with

Conjugation[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin pār (equal).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

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

  1. (of a number) even
    Antonym: impair

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

pair m (plural pairs)

  1. A peer, high nobleman/vassal (as in peer of the realm)

Derived terms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Louisiana Creole French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French peur (fear), compare Haitian Creole .

Verb[edit]

pair

  1. to be afraid

References[edit]

  • Alcée Fortier, Louisiana Folktales

Middle English[edit]

Noun[edit]

pair

  1. Alternative form of paire

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French pair.

Noun[edit]

pair m (plural pairi)

  1. peer (noble)

Declension[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]


Welsh[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Celtic *kʷaryos. Cognate with Irish coire.

Noun[edit]

pair m (plural peiri or peirau)

  1. cauldron, boiler
  2. furnace
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb[edit]

pair

  1. (literary) third-person singular present indicative/future of peri

Mutation[edit]

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
pair bair mhair phair
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References[edit]

  • pair”, in R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies, 1950–present