\ 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 Wood made a pair of free throws for Houston with just over a minute remaining. Andrew Seligman, Chron, "Bulls beat Rockets; Victor Oladipo solid in Houston debut," 19 Jan. 2021 DeRozan teamed with young point guard Dejounte Murray, who also had 11 assists, to become the first pair of Spurs teammates with at least 10 in the same game since Nov. 13, 1996, when Avery Johnson and Sean Elliott both did it against the Lakers. Jeff Mcdonald,, "LaMarcus Aldridge finds stroke as Spurs’ old dogs have their day," 18 Jan. 2021 Brady, 43, and Brees, who turns 42 this week, will become the first pair of quadragenarians to start against each other in a playoff game. Alex Speier,, "When Tom Brady and Drew Brees face off Sunday, they will make history," 13 Jan. 2021 In the sweet clip, Miles puts on an adorably oversized pair of Quay sunglasses, before collapsing into giggles at the result. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Hilariously Trolled John Legend With an Adorable Video of Miles," 11 Jan. 2021 While out shopping, she and Kendall were also spotted in the same pair of chunky Prada monolith boots—the ultimate stompy snowshoes. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Slope Style Is the New Street Style," 4 Jan. 2021 An investigation determined the two suspects were the same pair who allegedly stole liquor on two previous occasions between Sunday and Tuesday, the release said. Naperville Sun Staff Report,, "Two Chicago men charged with taking $5,100 in alcohol from Jewel-Osco store in Naperville," 30 Dec. 2020 What your sharp eyes noticed is the second nest of the same pair. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Robins still compete, even after nesting season," 29 Dec. 2020 The two become an unlikely pair, and figure out how to love each other despite the scars of their past. Sarah Madaus, SELF, "The 21 Best Romantic Movies on Netflix Right Now," 25 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a season format that seems to borrow heavily from college football, why not pair up Big Ten Country with SEC Nation? Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "NHL Central Division misery index: What if the Big Ten and SEC had a hockey-playing baby?," 18 Jan. 2021 Volvo owner Geely will pair with Chinese tech company Baidu to develop connected, autonomous EVs. Annie White, Car and Driver, "This Week in Cars: A Porsche Boxster, the Kona N, and a Flying Cadillac," 16 Jan. 2021 Congress must pair reconciliation with passing a budget resolution, which is normally not an easy task. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Here’s how Democrats could pass legislation in a split Senate," 8 Jan. 2021 That would pair up Rep.-elect Michelle Fischbach and Rep. Pete Stauber, in two districts that Republicans have only recently claimed after decades of Democratic representation. Briana Bierschbach, Star Tribune, "Minnesota on the edge of losing congressional seat after 'chaotic' census count," 29 Dec. 2020 Simply pair your phone to the IPX7-rated Moxie to begin streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, or local radio apps. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Don't rest on restroom technology. The flow of innovation can give you a smarter bathroom," 26 Dec. 2020 This matcha shortbread would pair perfectly with a cup of green tea. Washington Post, "8 sweet and savory shortbread cookies to pair with tea, coffee or wine," 21 Dec. 2020 The agreements pair vaccine developers like Pfizer with downstream manufacturers, which crank out the drugs the upstream companies invent. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "What Bill Gates Thinks About the State of the Fight Against COVID-19," 22 Dec. 2020 Accent your look with striking winter whites, and pair a pearly luster with anything and everything. Good Housekeeping Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Here’s How to Make Your Style Shine This Winter," 2 Dec. 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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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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Statistics for pair

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on pair

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