\ 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 The long-festering issues have now rushed to the surface, crystallized in a pair of critical federal and state investigations released within five months of each other., "DCF has long failed families with disabilities, advocates say. A pair of investigations is spurring a reckoning," 27 Apr. 2021 Irving had torched his former team for 77 points in 67 minutes in a pair of victories this season, but this time shot just 4 for 19, missing all six of his 3-pointers. Brian Mahoney, ajc, "Nets back atop East after beating Celtics 109-104," 24 Apr. 2021 Irving had torched his former team for 77 points in 67 minutes in a pair of victories this season, but this time shot just 4 for 19, missing all six of his 3-pointers. Brian Mahoney,, "Nets back atop East after beating Celtics," 23 Apr. 2021 Wednesday, Brazell Field at GCU Ballpark, Fox 10 XTRA (Wednesday), KDUS (1060 AM) — ASU and Grand Canyon will play in baseball for the first time since 2010 in a pair of mid-week games. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona State, Grand Canyon baseball resume rivalry for first time since 2010," 19 Apr. 2021 With textiles inspired by the destinations of daydreams, the brand has updated the traditional construction with signature Minnetonka comfort in each pair. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, "Mother’s Day Gift Guide: The Most Stylish Accessories," 19 Apr. 2021 Boerne’s Rashawn Galloway went 4 for 6 in a pair of victories against Fredericksburg. David Hinojosa, San Antonio Express-News, "Baseball: Antonian's Kobe Stokes named E-N Player of the Week," 19 Apr. 2021 Matthews drove in a pair, Novitske singled him in and Tanner Smith drove in the fourth run in the frame. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Gabe Matthews, Sam Novitske rally Oregon baseball past USC, Ducks win series," 18 Apr. 2021 The entertainer, who debuted a new ‘do, was captured by photographer Orit Pnini in a pair of colorful floral print pants by the label Sherris. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Dua Lipa, Lenny Kravitz, Paloma Elsesser, and More," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Off Color Brewing released a beer last year meant to pair well with tacos. Josh Noel,, "There’s a beer for that: Off Color Brewing’s ‘Beer for’ series wins over new and old fans — charting an unexpected path forward," 10 Apr. 2021 This one comes in a deep navy or beige so will pair well with most sofas or bedspreads. Popular Science, "Best gifts for women: Truly unique gift ideas for her," 1 Mar. 2021 Ribs, gizzards, Hoppin’ John, oxtail, lima beans, and pigtails all pair well with a glass of sweet tea from this Charleston mainstay. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, "Charleston Travel Guide," 1 Mar. 2021 These versatile shoes will pair well with your favorite slacks, skirts, jeans and more. Arielle Tschinkel And Nicole Briese, USA TODAY, "The 12 best things to buy from the private Tory Burch sale happening now," 27 Feb. 2021 Our favorites include Chandon and Mumm Cuvée Napa (both of which produce appealing brut rosés that pair well with a wide range of foods), Piper-Sonoma, Roederer Estate, Domaine Carneros and Gloria Ferrer. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Serve up a simple New Year’s Eve family celebration," 30 Dec. 2020 The best hats for women pair well with just about anything. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, "Our Favorite Straw (and Bucket and Visor) Hats to Wear All Spring and Summer Long," 13 Apr. 2021 Pinot Gris also can pair with some chicken dishes, just don’t get too zany with the spices. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris – what’s it about? Wine guide to flavors, prices, facts," 11 Apr. 2021 Employers who offer their workers high-deductible health plans from Blue Cross of Minnesota health insurance often also pair the insurance with HSAs that are administered by Further. Christopher Snowbeck, Star Tribune, "Blue Cross of Minnesota affiliate sold for $500 million," 9 Apr. 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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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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pair

Nglish: Translation of pair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pair for Arabic Speakers

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