au pair

[ oh pair ]
/ oʊ ˈpɛər /


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for au pair

au pair
/ (əʊ ˈpɛə, French o pɛr) /


  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
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

Word Origin for au pair

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