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See also: Twin


Identical twins Mark and Scott Kelly, both former NASA astronauts.

Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: twĭn, IPA(key): /twɪn/, [tw̥ɪn]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪn

Etymology 1[edit]

PIE word

From Middle English twinne, twynne, from Old English ġetwin, ġetwinn (twin, multiple, noun) and twinn (twin, two-fold, double, two by two, adjective), from Proto-Germanic *twinjaz, *twinaz (two each), from Proto-Indo-European *dwino- (twin), from *dwóh₁ (two). Cognate with Scots twyn (twin), Dutch tweeling (twin), German Zwilling (twin), Swedish tvilling (twin), Faroese tvinnur (a double set), Icelandic tvenna (duo, pair), Lithuanian dvynys (twin), Russian двойня (dvojnja, twin).


twin (plural twins)

  1. Either of two people (or, less commonly, animals) who shared the same uterus at the same time; one who was born at the same birth as a sibling.
  2. Either of two similar or closely related objects, entities etc.
  3. A room in a hotel, guesthouse, etc. with two beds; a twin room.
  4. (US) A twin size mattress or a bed designed for such a mattress.
  5. (aviation) A two-engine aircraft.
  6. (crystallography) A twin crystal.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


twin (third-person singular simple present twins, present participle twinning, simple past and past participle twinned)

  1. (transitive, obsolete outside Scotland) To separate, divide.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete outside Scotland) To split, part; to go away, depart.
  3. (usually in the passive) To join, unite; to form links between (now especially of two places in different countries); to pair with.
    Reading, the English town, is twinned with Clonmel in Ireland.
    Coventry twinned with Dresden as an act of peace and reconciliation, both cities having been heavily bombed during the war.
    • 1847, Alfred Tennyson, “Part 1”, in The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC:
      Still we moved / Together, twinned, as horse's ear and eye.
    • 2006, Aruna D'Souza, Tom McDonough, Tom Mc Donough, The Invisible Flâneuse?: Gender, Public Space, and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-century Paris, Manchester University Press, →ISBN, page 60:
      Yet, Manet heightens its effect by performing the clever ocular trick of practically twinning her with her pictorial counterpart, Madame Lejosne.
  4. (intransitive) To give birth to twins.
    • 1874, Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd:
      “I’ve run to tell ye,” said the junior shepherd, supporting his exhausted youthful frame against the doorpost, “that you must come directly. Two more ewes have twinned — that’s what’s the matter, Shepherd Oak.”
    • 1992, George Christopher Williams, Natural Selection: Domains, Levels, and Challenges, Oxford University Press on Demand, →ISBN, page 79:
      Twinning today is abnormal in all higher primates, and possibly adaptive only in the one species with an obstetrical technology that permits a high rate of survival of twins.
  5. (transitive) To be, or be like, a twin to (someone else); to match in some way.
    • 2009, Kathryn Bond Stockton, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century, Duke University Press, →ISBN, page 111:
      The invert child and her innocent child are together lost children, twinning each other despite their distinctions.
    • 2017, Christina Crosby, A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain, NYU Press, →ISBN, page 111:
      I was awake to the horror of our twinning each other in paralysis, and feared that we would soon talk only about the daily, intimate care serious paralysis demands []
  6. (intransitive) To be, or be like, a pair of twins (for example, to dress identically); to be paired or suited.
    • 2018, Vivian Blue, Your Heart Is Mine: A Criminal Romance, Sullivan Group Publishing, →ISBN:
      “I see you got us twinning today.” Byrd kissed Lay quickly. “I wanted you to dress like me today,” he admitted.
    • 2019, Lisa Mullarkey, Paisley, ABDO, →ISBN, page 17:
      “We're totally twinning today!” said Zoey. “You sure are,” said Chef Piper. “I whipped up a special dessert for tonight.”
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *twin, *twyn, from Old English twin, twinn (twin; double, adjective), from Proto-Germanic *twīhnaz (occurring in a pair; twofold; double), from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁ (two). Cognate with Icelandic tvennur (double), Gothic 𐍄𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌽𐌰𐌹 (tweihnai, two each).


twin (not comparable)

  1. Double; dual; occurring as a matching pair.
    twin beds, twin socks
  2. Forming a pair of twins.
    the twin boys
Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of twyn

Old English[edit]




  1. Alternative form of twinn