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- 3 French
- 4 Middle English
- 5 Romansch
- enPR: pâr, IPA(key): /pɛə(ɹ)/
Audio (US) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛə(r)
- Homophones: pare, pear
pair (plural pairs or pair)
- 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.
- 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.
- Two people in a relationship, partnership or friendship.
- Spouses should make a great pair.
- 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
- 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.
- (card games) A poker hand that contains two cards of identical rank, which cannot also count as a better hand.
- (cricket) A score of zero runs (a duck) in both innings of a two-innings match
- (baseball, informal) A double play, two outs recorded in one play
- They turned a pair to end the fifth.
- (baseball, informal) A doubleheader, two games played on the same day between the same teams
- The Pirates took a pair from the Phillies.
- (rowing) A boat for two sweep rowers.
- (slang) A pair of breasts
- She's got a gorgeous pair.
- (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.
- 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.
- (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.
- (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.
In older texts like "A Key to Joyce's Arithmetic" (1808), the plural form for the word pair is pair, but the tendency, these days, is to use the form pairs to mark plurality. 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. But still, both forms are correct, even though the former is quite archaic.
- (two objects in a group): duo, dyad, couple, brace, twosome, duplet; see also Thesaurus:duo
- (pair of breasts): See also Thesaurus:breasts
- 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.
- (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.
- 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.
- (transitive) To bring two (animals, notably dogs) together for mating.
- (politics, slang) To engage (oneself) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions.
- (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.
|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|
- (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 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 […]
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
- (obsolete, intransitive) To become worse, to deteriorate.
- “pair” in Diccionari de la llengua catalana, segona edició, Institut d’Estudis Catalans.
- “pair” in Gran Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana, Grup Enciclopèdia Catalana.
- “pair” in Diccionari normatiu valencià, Acadèmia Valenciana de la Llengua.
- “pair” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.
pair m (plural pairs)
- A peer, high nobleman/vassal (as in peer of the realm)
- pari m
- “pair” in le Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- Alternative form of