pair

noun
\ ˈper \
plural pairs or pair

Definition of pair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : two corresponding things designed for use together a pair of shoes
(2) : two corresponding bodily parts or members a pair of hands
b : something made up of two corresponding pieces a pair of trousers
2a : two similar or associated things: such as
(1) : two mated animals
(2) : a couple in love, engaged, or married were a devoted pair
(3) : two playing cards of the same value or denomination and especially of the same rank
(4) : two horses harnessed side by side
(5) : two members of a deliberative body that agree not to vote on a specific issue during a time agreed on also : an agreement not to vote made by the two members
b : a partnership especially of two players in a contest against another partnership
3 chiefly dialectal : a set or series of small objects (such as beads)

pair

verb
paired; pairing; pairs

Definition of pair (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make a pair of often used with off or up paired off the animals
b : to cause to be a member of a pair
c : to arrange a voting pair between
2 : to arrange in pairs

intransitive verb

1 : to constitute a member of a pair a sock that didn't pair
2a : to become associated with another often used with off or up paired up with an old friend
b : to become grouped or separated into pairs often used with off paired off for the next dance

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Synonyms for pair

Synonyms: Noun

brace, couple, couplet, duo, dyad, twain, twosome

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Examples of pair in a Sentence

Noun

He blushed when he saw all three pairs of eyes watching him. She won with a pair of aces. I got my first pair of glasses when I was eight. His two closest friends lived in the city and the pair of them visited him often. The dance is usually performed by a male and female pair. Those two kids make quite a pair.

Verb

The teacher paired students with partners for the assignment.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The senator has changed from the slippers into what appear to be a pair of faux leather Toms. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 Joan works out of the Clark County Public Health office for the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), a national nonprofit community health program that pairs registered nurses like her with low-income first-time parents. Tracy Saelinger, Woman's Day, "This Nurse Helps New Moms When They're Most Vulnerable," 8 Jan. 2019 Also in the video are a pair of Royal Canadian Air Force J-model CC-130 transport aircraft, Canada’s version of the C-130J Hercules. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Fighter Jets Zoom Through 'Star Wars Canyon'," 31 Dec. 2018 Alongside those live action shows are a pair of animated series — Harley Quinn, and Young Justice: Outsiders (which begins streaming on January 4th) — as well as a daily talk show, DC Daily. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "DC Universe’s Doom Patrol arrives on February 15th," 21 Dec. 2018 Well there's a pair that can solve all of your tights-wearing problems. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "I Tried the $7 Tights Amazon Reviewers Love — And I'll Be Living in Them All Winter," 7 Dec. 2018 Housed in a pair of cobalt blue and white shipping containers, Brash Coffee’s original location has just 360 interior square feet and nine seats inside (in addition to a couple of wooden picnic tables outside). Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Coffee Shops in Atlanta," 22 Aug. 2018 But the new majority will quickly pivot Thursday to a pair of bills to fund the parts of the government that have been shuttered in the dispute over money for President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Tops on House Dems to-do list: Try to end shutdown," 1 Jan. 2019 Kourtney Kardashian hit the slopes in a pair of reflective snow pants and a white puffer coat. Vogue, "The Best New Year’s Eve Looks: Gigi Hadid As Mary Poppins, Kylie Jenner’s Halter Dress," 1 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ladies like Sophia Roe and Tiffany Hsu are mixing prints and pairing their snakeskin with leather pieces for the ultimate luxe experience. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Shop the Snakeskin Print Trend We're Going All In On," 11 Jan. 2019 Both of the gasoline engines are paired with a nine-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission; the diesel comes with a six-speed. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Review: GMC Terrain gives you the ride you want—at a price," 23 Dec. 2018 The Thanksgiving plate is a cornucopia of flavors and finding one wine that pairs well with the turkey, gravy, sweet potato, cranberry sauce, and whatever other special dish mom brings to the table is nearly impossible. Laura Giannatempo, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Wine to Pair With Turkey, According to Wine Experts," 15 Nov. 2018 These paired great with low- or nonfat milk, the combined sales of which surpassed whole milk for the first time ever in 1988. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How low-fat dairy came to rule the US — and why that’s changing.," 20 Dec. 2018 Cheng’s partner, award-winning mixologist Antonio Lai (VEA stands for Vicky et Antonio), pairs the dishes with his bespoke cocktails. Eric Rosen, WSJ, "How Young Chefs Are Making Their Marks on Hong Kong’s Fine Food Scene," 10 Dec. 2018 Each time model and actress Karrueche Tran pairs up with the affordable, of-the-moment cosmetics company, the products cause a fan frenzy — and sell out pretty much immediately. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Karrueche Tran’s New ColourPop Brown Sugar Collab Celebrates the Beauty of Being Brown," 26 Oct. 2018 Once there, we were greeted wordlessly by some Navajo cowboys and paired up with our mounts, mine a paint gelding with a wild look in his eyes. Guy Trebay, Condé Nast Traveler, "In the Heart of Navajo Lands," 19 Oct. 2018 Katz is looking forward, as are IU fans and fans around college basketball, to seeing how Morgan pairs up with freshman Romeo Langford. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "NCAA's Andy Katz ranks IU basketball's Juwan Morgan 12th among returning players," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pair.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pair

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for pair

Noun

Middle English paire, from Anglo-French, from Latin paria equal things, from neuter plural of par equal

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Statistics for pair

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pair

The first known use of pair was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pair

pair

noun

English Language Learners Definition of pair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: two things that are the same and are meant to be used together

: a thing that has two parts which are joined

: two people who are related in some way or who do something together

pair

verb

English Language Learners Definition of pair (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put (two people or things) together

pair

noun
\ ˈper \
plural pairs or pair

Kids Definition of pair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : two things that match or are meant to be used together a pair of gloves a pair of draft horses
2 : a thing having two similar parts that are connected a pair of scissors
3 : two people who are connected in some way or do something together Those two are quite a pair.

pair

verb
paired; pairing

Kids Definition of pair (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put in or join in a group of two The guests paired off for dancing.
2 : to form a group of two : match This glove doesn't pair with that.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pair

Spanish Central: Translation of pair

Nglish: Translation of pair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pair for Arabic Speakers

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a complex dispute or argument

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
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