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)
- painter's colic,
- pair annihilation,
- pair bond,
- pair of compasses,
- pair off,
- pair production
Origin of pair1
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.
or pairs skating
Examples from the Web for pairs
Typically, aircraft will work in pairs where the flight lead will make an initial pass to mark a target with rockets.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019|Dave Majumdar|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Just over ten years ago he got a couple of pairs for Christmas.The Hot Designer Who Hates Fashion: VK Nagrani Triumphs His Own Way|Tom Teodorczuk|December 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
For such songs, she pairs raunchy lyrics with vivid imagery.
He packed only two pairs of pants, three shirts, and one toothbrush, then set out for Africa with Karl Johnson.
While caring for patients, clinical staff is heavily robed with gown and apron; three pairs of gloves; a hood; and goggles.Two Americans Have Now Been Diagnosed With Ebola in Record Outbreak|Kent Sepkowitz|July 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
They have now been shown to possess six pairs (fig. 47), as do Limulus and Scorpio.
The Hyoid of the dog consists of a transverse median piece, the basi-hyal (fig. 72, 32), from which arise two pairs of cornua.The Vertebrate Skeleton|Sidney H. Reynolds
What puzzled me at first was the fact that there were marks from only two pairs of boots, both of the regulation pattern.Jim Davis|John Masefield
Other similar machines which followed carried from forty to a hundred pairs of men.When the World Shook|H. Rider Haggard
A battery is represented by a number of pairs of such lines, as in Fig. 67.Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1|Kempster Miller
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
mid-13c., "two of a kind coupled in use," from Old French paire "pair, couple," and directly from Medieval Latin paria "equals," neuter plural of Latin par (genitive paris) "a pair, counterpart, equal," noun use of par (adj.) "equal, equal-sized, well-matched" (see par (n.)). Originally of things. Of persons from late 14c. Meaning "a woman's breasts" is attested from 1922. Pair bond (v.) is first attested 1940, in reference to birds mating.
"to come together with another; be mated or married" (intransitive), also "to make a pair by matching" (transitive), c.1600, from pair (n.). These senses now often are distinguished by pair off (c.1803) for the former and pair up (1908) for the latter. Related: Paired; pairing.
In addition to the idiom beginning with pair
- pair off
- show one's (a clean pair of) heels