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 par (pair). Related to pār (equal, adj). Compare Saterland Frisian Poor (pair), West Frisian pear (pair), Dutch paar (pair), German Paar (pair).

Noun edit

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

  1. Two similar or identical things taken together; often followed by of.
    I couldn't decide which of the pair of designer shirts I preferred, so I bought the pair.
    1. One of the constituent items that make up a pair.
      • 1992, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Marking Time: Volume 2 of The Cazalet Chronicle, page 74:
        [S]he had finished the second sock, and pulled its pair out of the bag before handing them to her husband.
      • 1996, Kathy Lette, Mad Cows, page 219:
        Must be good at athletics, home repairs, making mince interesting and finding the pair to the other glove.
  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. (slang) A pair of testicles
    Grow a pair, mate.
  12. (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.
  13. 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.
  14. (archaic) A number of things resembling one another, or belonging together; a set.
  15. (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
Descendants edit
  • Tokelauan: pea
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. 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, new edition, volume I, 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.
  2. (computing) to link two electronic devices wirelessly together, especially through a protocol such as Bluetooth
    It was not possible to pair my smartphone with an incompatible smartwatch.
    • 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.
  3. (transitive) To bring two (animals, notably dogs) together for mating.
  4. (intransitive) To come together for mating.
    • 1883, Alexander Stewart, Nether Lochaber, page 112:
      The raven, in short, when he pairs, which he does at the earliest moment permitted by the laws of ravendom, pairs for life []
  5. (politics, slang) To engage (oneself) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions.
  6. (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
Translations edit

See also edit

Poker hands in English · poker hands (layout · text)
         
high card pair two pair three of a kind straight
         
flush full house four of a kind straight flush royal flush

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., edited by George Panton, The “Gest Hystoriale” of the Destruction of Troy, N. Trübner & Co., translation of Historia destructionis Troiae by Guido delle Colonne (in Medieval Latin), 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 [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, →OCLC, 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 []
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, “Book I, Canto VII”, in The Faerie Queene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, →OCLC:
      'No faith so fast', quoth she, 'but flesh does pair'
  2. (obsolete, intransitive) To become worse, to deteriorate.

Anagrams edit

Catalan edit

Etymology edit

Unknown. Compare dialectal Italian padire.

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit

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

  1. (transitive, intransitive) to digest
    Synonym: digerir
  2. (figurative, transitive) to handle, to cope with
    de mal pairhard to take

Conjugation edit

Derived terms edit

Further reading edit

French edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Latin pār (equal).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

pair (feminine 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)

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Louisiana Creole 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

Borrowed from French pair.

Noun edit

pair m (plural pairi)

  1. peer (noble)

Declension edit

Romansch edit

Alternative forms edit

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

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 Middle Welsh peir, from Proto-Brythonic *pėr, 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 corresponding lemma form.

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

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