pair

noun
\ 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)

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 pair apparently were close to Faneuil Hall, a popular walking spot and touristy shopping area. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Jed Wyatt, Hannah's 'Bachelorette' Contestant and Fellow Southerner?," 29 Mar. 2019 Getting a pair of AirPods is hard to justify due to the hefty price tag ($159 for the set, $70 apiece). Popular Mechanics, "Why Spend a Bunch When These AirPod Alternatives Are Only $25?," 6 Mar. 2019 But the rapper got the last laugh because a source close to Rihanna confirmed the pair were dating less than a week later. 9. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "11 Celebrities Who Were Rejected Publicly By Their Famous Crushes," 23 Jan. 2019 Another area where action is needed immediately, say the pair, is the use of facial recognition and affect recognition. James Vincent, The Verge, "When algorithms go wrong we need more power to fight back, say AI researchers," 8 Dec. 2018 Each pair is made from deadstock denim and scraps from the Los Angeles brand’s vast archives, some of them dating back to the early 2000s. Emily Farra, Vogue, "Kozaburo Akasaka, Last Year’s LVMH Special Prize Winner, Is Launching His First-Ever Women’s Jeans," 21 Mar. 2019 The pair were spotted spending time together in Los Angeles. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Emma Roberts and Evan Peters Have Reportedly Broken Up," 20 Mar. 2019 Within hours the British authorities determined the pair had been exposed to a deadly chemical weapon. Elisabeth Braw, WSJ, "How the British Hit Back Against Russian Agitprop," 11 Mar. 2019 The breakfast meeting is the first time the pair have been spotted together since news broke that Kardashian's then-boyfriend Thompson had cheated on her with Woods. Stacey Leasca, Allure, "Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods Are Reportedly Hanging Out Again," 10 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Harington again went for a black ensemble, that time paired with a cozy turtleneck. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kit Harington and Rose Leslie Have a Sweet Night Out in NYC," 9 Apr. 2019 Leggings paired with an undershirt and sweater are her chosen uniform. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Rent the Runway Launches Kids—and My Two Daughters Took It for a Test Drive," 8 Apr. 2019 Honestly, Taemin's golden smoky eyes perfectly paired with the snake slithering over his arm. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why Taemin Won't Apologize For His Androgynous Aesthetic Anymore," 15 Mar. 2019 These new insights into the workings of the brain, paired with other findings, could help in the understanding and early detection of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, scientists say. ... Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Unlocking Secrets of Memory and Time in the Brain," 13 Mar. 2019 Chrissy's commentary, paired with that recent scary promo of Kate getting wheeled into the hospital, is making everyone ask about what's going to happen to Kate and her baby. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "This Shocking 'This Is Us' Fan Theory About What Happens to Kate's Baby Is Too Much," 5 Mar. 2019 The first wave of 5G-capable phones will include Qualcomm’s 855 processor paired with the company’s separate X50 5G modem chip. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm's next Snapdragon chip suggests 2020 really will be the year of 5G phones," 25 Feb. 2019 What America likely needs, then, is something more like Australia’s mandatory buyback program — essentially, a gun confiscation scheme — paired with a serious ban on specific firearms (including, potentially, all semiautomatic weapons). German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 When paired with a matching blazer and shorts combo, silver slip-ons are polished enough for the office but cool enough to break out on the weekend. Nicola Fumo, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Chic Looks You Can Wear to Work and on the Weekend," 18 Mar. 2019

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

13 Apr 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 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.

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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