\ 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 pair, both originally from Mexico City, grew up visiting this region on weekend trips that were all about spontaneity, great food, and even better drink. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, 17 Sep. 2021 Directed by Ben Taylor, the episode explores the aftermath of an incident in which Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) is violated on a public bus by a man who masturbates and ejaculates on her favorite pair of jeans. Christi Carras Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Senior Reese Cordero collected three goals and an assist and Kevin Smith added a pair of goals for the Falcons (4-0) in the South Coast win., 17 Sep. 2021 Up front this season are a pair of exhibitions demonstrating the museum’s stated intention of increasing its representation of Puerto Rican artists. Chadd Scott, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 The pair, who tied the knot in December 2014, are already parents to 2-year-old daughter Bernie. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 17 Sep. 2021 That pair of towers, one of them intended to rise 900 feet, halted construction in late 2019. John King, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Sep. 2021 Most notable against New Mexico State were a pair of penalties against SDSU offensive lineman William Dunkle, who was called for a personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct on back-to back plays. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2021 Posing for an iPhone photo shoot in Times Square, Tana wore what was essentially a pair of watercolor loincloths. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 15 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The resulting coffee is smooth and rich, and takes well to lengthening it a touch with hot water for a nice Americano to pair with your caneles, lox and croissants. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 3 Sep. 2021 The Scorps have experienced hitters in Nelson, McPhillips and Smith to pair with a group of other players in new positions. Jacob Calvin Meyer,, 31 Aug. 2021 Now's the time to get a true statement skirt to pair with your basics or go bold and mix your prints. Mercedes Viera,, 23 Aug. 2021 To pair with your new leggings, the Syd Crop Jacket is made from the same iridescent fabric with silver studs around the shoulders and on either side of the front zipper. Eden Lichterman,, 18 Aug. 2021 The Cubs will have money in the offseason to pursue free-agent starting pitching options to pair with veteran Kyle Hendricks or bolster depth that features Alec Mills and the young trio. Meghan Montemurro,, 17 Aug. 2021 Hill now will begin the long rehabilitation process as the Gators turn to other options to pair with Elam and a secondary with a lot to prove. Edgar Thompson,, 12 Aug. 2021 Arena brought in Jon Bell and Henry Kessler to pair with Farrell in the middle, along with outside fullbacks Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones., 10 Aug. 2021 Thinking about getting a Tua Tagovailoa No. 1 Miami Dolphins jersey to pair with your No. 13 Alabama jersey from the quarterback’s time with the Crimson Tide? Mike Rodak |, al, 5 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries Near pair




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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pair.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on pair

Nglish: Translation of pair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pair for Arabic Speakers


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