\ 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 uppaired 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 uppaired up with an old friend
b : to become grouped or separated into pairs often used with offpaired 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 Lake County sheriff’s police said Wednesday that two men have been arrested in connection with a pair of August armed robberies in Beach Park. Clifford Ward,, "Two arrested in Beach Park armed robberies," 21 Oct. 2020 On new iPhone day, Beats announced a new pair of $50 wireless headphones called Beats Flex. Popular Science, "The Beats Flex wireless headphones offer some AirPod functionality for just $50," 17 Oct. 2020 This new set of headphones from Sony is an upgrade to its beloved pair of ANC headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM3, which is also on sale right now. NBC News, "Amazon Prime Day 2020: Best sales and deals to shop now," 14 Oct. 2020 There are few times to get a great new pair of headphones as good as Amazon Prime Day. Ryan Waniata, USA TODAY, "The best headphones and wireless earbuds on sale for Prime Day 2020," 14 Oct. 2020 The momentum carried over into the second half with Rockwall turning its initial pair of second half possessions into touchdowns to go in front 34-28. Randy Jennings, Dallas News, "Braedyn Locke, Rockwall erase pair of 21-point deficits to get signature ‘team win' over Southlake Carroll," 9 Oct. 2020 Fans are asked to donate a new or gently used pair of shoes for children in need to benefit Samaritan’s Feet. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "Six-game showcase set for Dec. 5 at Brownsburg will feature several top teams, prospects," 6 Oct. 2020 With the help of her Rodrigues, Mckenzie set about designing her first pair of pants on the couple’s kitchen table. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "How Photographer Ronan Mckenzie Designed Her First Fashion Collection Under Lockdown," 5 Oct. 2020 But teams with the foresight to start Latavius Murray probably had a nice afternoon celebrating his pair of short touchdown runs. Jeff Nowak,, "On Alvin Kamara's smarts, Tre'Quan Smith's hustle, a Brees 'mistake': See 3 Saints film notes," 5 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These local bookshops are thinking outside the cardboard box, offering free delivery, literary care packages or nibbles to pair with your novella. Haley Velasco, WSJ, "Can Books Compete with Netflix? Yes, and Here’s Why.," 1 Oct. 2020 Carey says the wine menu will feature high acid whites and reds to pair with Gillanders’ menu. Nick Kindelsperger,, "Stephen Gillanders of S.K.Y. takes over exec chef duties at Somerset and Devereaux," 29 Sep. 2020 But that summer, the Celtics acquired Garnett and Allen to pair next to Paul Pierce and immediately won a championship. Christian Clark | Staff Writer,, "The Pelicans are reportedly interested in Doc Rivers: Examining his fit in New Orleans," 28 Sep. 2020 But the co-watches would likely be an interview with the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson or a scientist's TED talk, while a flat-earth conspiracy video might pair with a rant on the CIA's UFO cover-up. Clive Thompson, Wired, "YouTube’s Plot to Silence Conspiracy Theories," 18 Sep. 2020 That happened last season when the club turned over almost every position player and brought in D’Angelo Russell to pair with Towns under head coach Ryan Saunders. Star Tribune, "Wolves get break they really needed by winning NBA draft lottery," 20 Aug. 2020 With Atkins back in the fold, the Bengals will finally get to pair him with free-agent acquisition D.J. Reader in the interior of their defensive line. Tyler Dragon, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins expected to make season debut in Week 5," 9 Oct. 2020 While experts still debate whether or not North Korea can successfully pair the two and hit a precise target half a world away, the regime demonstrated enough new capabilities to worry the United States and its allies. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "October 10 was supposed to be a major celebration for Kim Jong Un. Instead he faces his most daunting challenges to date," 8 Oct. 2020 But here are six fresh titles on the list that should pair well with hot chocolate, gift-wrapping and a crackling fireplace. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "'The Princess Switch' sequel and more: Cheesy Christmas movies coming to Netflix this year," 8 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pair

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pair

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for pair


How to pronounce pair (audio)

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.

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