see also: Pair
Pronunciation Noun

pair (plural pairs)

  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. In Two Volumes, 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.
    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)
    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. (cards) 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.
    • c. 1622, John Fletcher; Philip Massinger, “The Sea-Voyage. A Comedy.”, in Fifty Comedies and Tragedies. […], [part 1], London: Printed by J[ohn] Macock [and H. Hills], for John Martyn, Henry Herringman, and Richard Marriot, published 1679, OCLC 1015511273 ↗, Act I, scene i, page 341 ↗:
      Thou lieſt; I ha’ nothing buy my ſkin, / And my cloaths; my ſword here, and my ſelf; / Two Crowns in my pocket; two pair of Cards; / And three falſe Dice: I can ſwim like a fiſh / Raſcal, nothing to hinder me.
    • 1842 December – 1844 July, Charles Dickens, “Comprises, among Other Important Matters, Pecksniffian and Architectural, an Exact Relation of the Progress Made by Mr. Pinch in the Confidence and Friendship of the New Pupil”, in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1844, OCLC 977517776 ↗, page 74 ↗:
      It would never do, you know, for me to be plunging myself into poverty and shabbiness and love in one room up three pair of stairs, and all that sort of thing.
  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.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: coppia
  • Russian: пара
Translations Verb

pair (pairs, present participle pairing; 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.
    • 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.
Related terms Translations
  • Portuguese: emparelhar
  • Russian: па́ра
  • Spanish: emparejar

pair (pairs, present participle pairing; past and past participle paired)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To impair, to make worse.
    • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Innouations”, in The Essayes or Covncils, Civill and Moral, […] Newly Written, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, OCLC 863521290 ↗; newly enlarged edition, London: Printed by Iohn Haviland, […], 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 {{...}
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To become worse, to deteriorate.

Proper noun
  1. Surname

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