- 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.
- 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
- a young foreigner, usually a girl, who undertakes housework in exchange for board and lodging, esp in order to learn the language
- (as modifier)an au pair girl
- a young person who lives temporarily with a family abroad in exchange for a reciprocal arrangement with his or her own family
- (intr) to work as an au pair
- as an au pairshe worked au pair in Greece
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
1897 of the arrangement, 1960 of the girl; French, literally "on an equal footing" (see pair (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper