noun, plural pairs, pair.
- two members on opposite sides in a deliberative body who for convenience, as to permit absence, arrange together to forgo voting on a given occasion.
- the arrangement thus made.
- two playing cards of the same denomination without regard to suit or color.
- pairs, two card players who are matched together against different contestants.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of pair1
Related formspair·wise, adverbun·paired, adjectivewell-paired, adjective
Pair signifying two individuals can take either a singular or plural verb, but it is usually followed by a plural verb and referred to by a plural pronoun: The guilty pair have not been seen since their escape.
In the sense “a set or combination of more than two objects forming a collective whole,” pair occurs chiefly in fixed phrases: a pair of beads; a pair of stairs. This use is now somewhat old-fashioned. See also collective noun, couple.
British Dictionary definitions for pair off (1 of 2)
noun plural pairs or functioning as singular or plural pair
- two opposed members who both agree not to vote on a specified motion or for a specific period of time
- the agreement so made
- a set with two members
- an ordered set with two members
Word Origin for pair
British Dictionary definitions for pair off (2 of 2)
Idioms and Phrases with pair off (1 of 2)
Put two persons together; also, become one of a couple, as in Jean mentally paired off her guests whenever she planned a party, or All the tennis players had to pair off for a round of doubles matches. [Late 1600s]
Also, pair up. Make a pair of, match, as in I always have trouble pairing up their socks. [Early 1900s]
Idioms and Phrases with pair off (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with pair
- pair off
- show one's (a clean pair of) heels