Definition of pair in English:

pair

Pronunciation /per/ /pɛr/

Translate pair into Spanish

noun

  • 1A set of two things used together or regarded as a unit.

    ‘a pair of gloves’
    • ‘three pairs of shoes’
    set of two, set, matching set, matched set, two of a kind
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Two people related in some way or considered together.
      ‘a company run by a pair of brothers’
      • ‘get out, the pair of you’
      • ‘students work alone or in pairs’
      • ‘the pair are said to dislike each other intensely’
      two, couple, duo, duology, brace, twosome
      couple, man and wife, husband and wife, partners, lovers
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A mated couple of animals.
      • ‘76 pairs of red kites’
      two, couple, duo, duology, brace, twosome
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Two horses harnessed side by side.
      • ‘she enjoys driving her pair’
      two horses, team, yoke, span
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    4. 1.4The second member of a pair in relation to the first.
      • ‘each course member tries to persuade his pair of the merits of his model’
    5. 1.5Two playing cards of the same denomination.
      • ‘Jacobs had two pairs’
  • 2An article consisting of two joined or corresponding parts not used separately.

    ‘a pair of jeans’
    • ‘a pair of scissors’
    set of two, set, matching set, matched set, two of a kind
    View synonyms
  • 3Either or both of two members of a legislative assembly on opposite sides who absent themselves from voting by mutual arrangement, leaving the relative position of the parties unaffected.

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Join or connect to form a pair.

    ‘she wore a cardigan paired with a matching skirt’
    • ‘Twelve months ago, the two teams were paired together in the quarter-finals.’
    • ‘This was designed to protect the integrity of the championship because of the possibility of leading contenders being paired together in the first round.’
    • ‘‘Clarke and I were paired together to present a documentary on that year's Festival,’ says Bakewell.’
    • ‘So he paired them together once again in the foursomes in which they came up against Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood.’
    • ‘Representatives from similar sites have been paired together so they can learn more about each other.’
    • ‘Friends will not be paired together, for fear that they find a comfort zone.’
    • ‘Senses have been heightened since the moment the clubs were paired together in the second round draw.’
    • ‘Arsenal and Bolton have been paired together seven times in this competition and a replay has been required on three occasions.’
    • ‘We were paired together right from the start, and we're going through the same rookie stuff together.’
    • ‘And by now it's a foregone conclusion that these two stars will generate a certain special something anytime they're paired together.’
    • ‘A member of the 104th, he and Ivan Denisovich are the top two workers in the squad and are often paired together.’
    • ‘So Shade happened to be in my English class and as fate had it we happened to be paired together for an assignment.’
    • ‘These are the same chinos I wear on the weekends, paired with a velvet blazer I throw on over jeans.’
    • ‘Considering what wine to pair with that steak or chicken pot pie is a particularly pleasant task.’
    • ‘I want the first row to pair with the people to their right in the second row.’
    • ‘Perhaps the most popular color to pair with yellow is red, and again, this combination can work in a variety of shades.’
    • ‘He also reads magazines to see what chefs are doing to get ideas of drinks to pair with food.’
    • ‘Then I was idly wondering what kind of sauce to pair with this pasta.’
    • ‘I yanked a white boat neck sweater over the gray halter to pair with the pleated gray skirt I was wearing.’
    • ‘In the test session each participant was paired with an untrained partner.’
    match, put together, couple, twin, partner, marry up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of animals) mate.
      ‘they bought a rooster to pair with the hen’
      • ‘White plumage may be critical for attracting a mate, but even after pairing with a female during the breeding season, a male that keeps a clean profile may have an advantage.’
      • ‘In many species pairs are stable for at least three years, and some butterflyfishes may pair for life.’
      • ‘These fish stay paired for at least a year and sometimes for their entire lifetime. They spawn year-round, usually near the full moon.’
      • ‘Barnacle geese pair monogamously, and males prefer larger and heavier females.’
      • ‘Previous experience showed that some male pied flycatchers sing in captivity during the part of the breeding season when free-living birds are pairing.’
      • ‘Once paired, the breeding pair remains in the same territory until the death of one member of the pair.’
      • ‘The cheetahs are kept in enclosures and are used for pairing, also with animals bred in captivity, as a further way of promoting their numbers and their gene pool.’
      • ‘Cardinals frequently remained paired over several breeding seasons, but we used only the initial pairings in the consideration of assortative mating.’
      • ‘Floater birds never paired with other nonterritorial birds; however, the opportunity for such behavior existed for at least five of our banded floaters.’
      • ‘Once paired, they build a nest on the ground of seaweed, eelgrass, and algae, held together by droppings.’
      • ‘Females paired to low-ranking males constructed nests near the territory edges of neighboring high-ranking males.’
      • ‘Females had the opportunity to pair with solitary males but did not do so.’
      • ‘We assume for simplicity that the female will pair with one of the two bidding males.’
      • ‘Females pair with a male within a day of arriving and begin building their first nest within a few days.’
      • ‘Once paired, the male brings nest material to the female, who builds the stick nest in a tree or shrub.’
      • ‘They are one of the latest North American ducks to pair, with most pairs forming late in migration.’
      • ‘In most cases, if a bird paired with a different mate in a subsequent breeding season, the mate from the previous season was not seen again and was presumed dead.’
      • ‘Williamson's Sapsuckers form monogamous pairs, a bird often pairing with its mate from a previous year.’
      • ‘Males and females did not pair with like partners but paired disassortatively according to personality.’
      • ‘That is, more attractive females tended to pair with more attractive males, or vice-versa.’
  • 2Give (a member of a legislative assembly) another member as a pair, to allow both to absent themselves from a vote without affecting the result.

    ‘an absent member on one side is to be paired with an absentee on the other’
    • ‘When they agree to pair themselves they indicate their respective positions on the issue and the fact that their absences did not effect the outcome.’
    • ‘Notwithstanding the newly formalized way of arranging pairs, House of Commons Speaker John Fraser noted in a 1992 ruling that agreements to pair still are private arrangements between Members and not matters in which House or the Speaker can intervene.’
  • 3Wirelessly connect (an electronic device) to another via Bluetooth.

    • ‘you'll now be able to pair your watch directly with a set of Bluetooth headphones’

Phrases

    grow a pair
    informal
    • Become more courageous or resolute.

      • ‘all you have to do is grow a pair and ask her out if you want to’
    pair of hands
    • A person seen in terms of their participation in a task.

      ‘we can always do with an extra pair of hands’
      • ‘So even if you are just someone who needs an extra pair of hands around the house for a day here is your chance to get all those jobs done that never seem to get done!’
      • ‘Home-Start York needs volunteers to visit young families at home, to offer a listening ear and an extra pair of hands.’
      • ‘They will provide an extra pair of hands to allow the pre-school staff and volunteers to spend more time with all the children in the group.’
      • ‘When he came to stay with us it was like having an extra pair of hands.’
      • ‘Shipston has an extra pair of hands to help steer through its market town development.’
      • ‘Fiona offers support, a shoulder to cry on and an extra pair of hands at home and on site.’
      • ‘As Hare notes, the best practicum students not only lend an extra pair of hands but spur new ways of thinking.’
      • ‘You'd get the place finished quicker with an extra pair of hands up there.’
      • ‘As a result, though, the service was excellent, and we were never short of a pair of hands to refill our water glasses.’
      • ‘There is plenty of work to be done in a variety of skills and there will be something for every pair of hands.’

Phrasal Verbs

    pair off
    • Form a couple, especially in a romantic or sexual relationship.

      ‘all my friends had paired off’
      • ‘journalists seem to pair off with journalists a lot’
      • ‘Rachel has paired up with Tommy’
      • ‘Match-makers Jane Gledhill and Chris Cunningham had hoped to be swamped with single people wanting to be paired off - but their romantic speed-dating notion has had so few admirers that they have had to call the whole thing off.’
      • ‘In one deft sequence, Carrington sits outside Ham Spray House, draped in a blanket, watching the loves of her life pair off into new relationships.’
      • ‘It wasn't until he became a teenager and everyone in his circle of friends began to pair off and have relationships did he come to understand what it was he felt for his long lost friend.’
      • ‘The oddest of people from the remotest corners of the world were pairing up together thanks to the Internet and Cupid's timely intervention.’
      • ‘All twelve celebrities taking part will jet off to the paradise island this week where they will stay on the beach in traditional bamboo huts before being paired off together for a string of dates..’
      • ‘It's rumoured that he and Daphne have a hidden romance on the show, as they always seem to pair off together and disappear for long periods of time, but there is no clear evidence to support this.’
      • ‘Hrithick and Kareena pair up in this light-hearted romantic lark.’
      • ‘And, during dead spots during the caper, they find time to tell their lives' stories, and each girl pairs off romantically with the guy of her choice.’
      • ‘The song changes and a few people begin pairing off and dancing together.’
      • ‘Dolly is a professional matchmaker who specialises in pairing up rich businessmen with beautiful wives.’

Origin

Middle English from Old French paire, from Latin paria ‘equal things’, neuter plural of par ‘equal’. Formerly phrases such as a pair of gloves were expressed without of, as in a pair gloves (compare with German ein Paar Handschuhe).