pair

1 of 2

noun

plural pairs or pair
1
a(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
2
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

paired; pairing; pairs

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The Seawolves were led in scoring in both games by Anchorage native Da’Zhon Wyche with a pair of 20-plus-point outings and went 7-of-18 from behind the arc between the two contest including going 4-for-8 in the 74-73 loss to the Sharks on Saturday. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Nov. 2022 Dua accessorized with eye-catching pops of red, incorporating the bold shade with a pair of knee-high stiletto boots and a matte crimson lipstick as well as a chunky red statement ring on her pointer finger. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 15 Nov. 2022 Upgrade her sunglasses style with a pair of classic cateye frames. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 15 Nov. 2022 The extra point was no good, but the score set the tone for the first half as Trinity answered with Mike Jones’s 4-yard touchdown run, set up by a pair of McClinton scrambles. Arthur L. Mack, al, 12 Nov. 2022 Interceptions by Cade Schiano and Owen Tomasic were followed by a pair of Richards touchdown runs. Zach Dzurick, cleveland, 11 Nov. 2022 Paced by a pair of goals by Auston Matthews, who led the league with 60 goals last season, the Maple Leafs pinned a 2-1 loss on the Bruins, ending a seven-game Black-and-Gold winning streak and dropping them to 10-2-0 for the season. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 6 Nov. 2022 Peak power consumption goes up from 330 W to 355 W—still an increase but around 100 W lower than the RTX 4090's peak power consumption and still capable of being powered by a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2022 Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have combined for 1,688 receiving yards, the most by a pair of teammates in the Super Bowl era through eight games. Tyler Dragon, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2022
Verb
To add color and dimension, pair it with the Mickey Mouse Enamel Bead Chain Choker, a set of multi-length chains. Lauren Fischer, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2022 Opt for a classic Stetson (or reach for a more modern style), pair it with a camel hobo bag like Beth, and get on your way. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 Or just pair it with a crusty baguette and call it dinner. Shilpa Uskokovic, Bon Appétit, 14 Nov. 2022 If that doesn't feel like Christmas, pair it with multi-colored ornament garlands and classic nutcrackers. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 7 Nov. 2022 For nourishing hydration, pair it with Ouidad’s conditioner to moisturize curls without weighing them down or Oribe’s moisturizing and reparative mask. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 12 Oct. 2022 For more more formal outings, pair it with a skirt and throw on some accessories and heeled sandals. Isabel Garcia, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2022 To use hearing aids with Android phones, pair them like any other Bluetooth device, though additional features vary by phone manufacturer. Wired, 21 July 2022 The partner can then pair you with appropriate candidates—outsourcing developers—for your software needs. Thanh Pham, Forbes, 19 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near pair

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pair. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

pair 1 of 2

noun

ˈpa(ə)r How to pronounce pair (audio)
ˈpe(ə)r
plural pairs also pair
1
: two things that match or are meant to be used together
a pair of hands
a pair of gloves
2
: a thing having two connected matching parts
a pair of scissors
3
: a set of two like or associated things

pair

2 of 2

verb

1
: to make a pair of or arrange in pairs
paired off the animals
2
: to form a pair or pairs
paired off for the next dance

More from Merriam-Webster on pair

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