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au pair

[oh pair]
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noun
  1. a person, usually a young foreign visitor, employed to take care of children, do housework, etc., in exchange for room and board: We sent the children to the beach with the au pair.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or employed under such an arrangement: an au pair girl.

Origin of au pair

1965–70; < French, literally, equal, even (au contraction of à le at the + pair equal (noun); cf. pair), referring to the equal exchange of work for room and board
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for au pair

au pair

noun
    1. a young foreigner, usually a girl, who undertakes housework in exchange for board and lodging, esp in order to learn the language
    2. (as modifier)an au pair girl
  1. a young person who lives temporarily with a family abroad in exchange for a reciprocal arrangement with his or her own family
verb
  1. (intr) to work as an au pair
adverb
  1. as an au pairshe worked au pair in Greece

Word Origin

C20: from French: on an equal footing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for au pair

n.

1897 of the arrangement, 1960 of the girl; French, literally "on an equal footing" (see pair (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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