\ ˈper How to pronounce pair (audio) \
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)


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

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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 Kareem Hunt had 61 yards on 12 carries, rushing for a pair of TDs. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 11 Oct. 2021 Sprouse opted for a pair of traditional shorts and a waistcoat for the festivities. Tristan Balagtas,, 11 Oct. 2021 Completed 17 of 19 passes for 236 yards and a 35-yard touchdown, and ran for a pair of TDs (14 and 8 yards) in a 35-7 win over St. John Paul II. Reports, al, 10 Oct. 2021 LeBlanc and Vincent Ferrara each threw for a pair of touchdowns., 10 Oct. 2021 In 2017, he was hit with another two to four years in prison for a pair of non-violent offenses. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2021 Each player is handed a pouch of marbles, and the goal for each pair is to decide on a game and play it. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 7 Oct. 2021 Lawyers for the pair have painted their clients as victims of a con man: the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme — Rick Singer — who never took the stand. NBC News, 6 Oct. 2021 Most of Studs’ earrings are made overseas and cost about $20 for a single earring or $40 for a pair. Nina Wolpow, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Simply pair a green tracksuit with a white T-shirt and add some numbers to the clothes. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, 13 Oct. 2021 To really perfect your smile, pair the device with the ARC Precision Applicator Teeth Whitening Pen, which will make your pearly whites brighter with each use. Jennifer Hussein, Allure, 12 Oct. 2021 The state Senate maps would pair Palmer Park with Birmingham and Brightmoor with Farmington, for instance. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 11 Oct. 2021 And their Yellow Label’s balance of silkiness and freshness and their Rosé’s full-bodied and fruity notes pair perfectly with many different flavor profiles, from salmon to beef carpaccio and pasta and more. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 5 Oct. 2021 The bright color offers an instant conversation starter - especially amongst a sea of dark Halloween costumes and spooky makeup; pair this beverage with a Dia de los Muertos costume for the ultimate insta-worthy capture of the evening. Aly Walansky, Forbes, 2 Oct. 2021 Joseph Moda Cabernet-Merlot, McClaren Vale, Australia; $80.99 Executive chef Eric Arblaster will pair each wine with a small plate. Marc Bona, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021 In shades of ivory, white, nude, or blush, designs featuring guipure, chantilly, eyelet, or floral lace will pair beautifully with bridal attire. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 29 Sep. 2021 Instead of eating it out of the jar, always pair your nut butter with another food to create a more filling plate. Wellory, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021

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


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


1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for pair


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

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Learn More About pair

Time Traveler for pair

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pair




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Statistics for pair

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pair



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



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

: to put (two people or things) together


\ ˈper How to pronounce pair (audio) \
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.


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on pair

Nglish: Translation of pair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pair for Arabic Speakers


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