\ ˈtwān How to pronounce twain (audio) \

Definition of twain

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : two
2 : couple, pair



Definition of twain (Entry 2 of 4)

: two especially : two fathoms mark twain



Definition of twain (Entry 3 of 4)

: two


biographical name

Definition of Twain (Entry 4 of 4)

Mark — see clemens

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Synonyms for twain

Synonyms: Noun

brace, couple, couplet, duo, dyad, pair, twosome

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Examples of twain in a Sentence


I like rap and my parents like country music, and never the twain shall meet in our house.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gravitational-wave detectors work (see diagram) by splitting a laser beam in twain. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 22 Aug. 2019 This side in one corner, that side in the other corner and never the twain will meet, much less talk civilly. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: What billionaire would Kenny Stills want closer to Trump than Steve Ross? | Commentary," 8 Aug. 2019 Ultimately, there are phone people and then there are Note people, and never the twain shall meet. David Pierce, WSJ, "Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 Is Crazy Powerful. Can You Handle It?," 19 Aug. 2018 But the twain do meet at the island’s golf courses, tennis courts, sailing school and beaches. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Shelter Island, N.Y.: A Paradise That Has Its Challenges," 16 May 2018 Almost ne’er the twain did meet — though that could soon change. Washington Post, "Disney-Fox deal may create a new nerdy nirvana," 16 Dec. 2017 And when everything is correct, the twain never shall meet: Coolant stays outside the cylinders and the combustion materials stay inside. Ray Magliozzi,, "White smoke on starting, you and your car soon will be parting," 6 Oct. 2017 While the mechanisms are different, the result is the same: Never the twain shall meet. Libby Copeland, Smithsonian, "From Medical Pariah to Feminist Icon: The Story of the IUD," 15 June 2017 The goal: Figuring out the easiest and cheapest way to cross off everything on on a back-to-school shopping list -- and whether the twain would ever meet. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "Back-to-school shopping 2017: Online vs. in-store, what’s the best, cheapest way to get everything on your list?," 24 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'twain.' 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 twain


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for twain


Middle English, from Old English twēgen — more at two

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Learn More about twain

Statistics for twain

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for twain

The first known use of twain was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for twain


\ ˈtwān How to pronounce twain (audio) \

Kids Definition of twain

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More from Merriam-Webster on twain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with twain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for twain

Spanish Central: Translation of twain

Nglish: Translation of twain for Spanish Speakers

Comments on twain

What made you want to look up twain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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