See more synonyms for two on
  1. a cardinal number, 1 plus 1.
  2. a symbol for this number, as 2 or II.
  3. a set of this many persons or things.
  4. a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with two pips.
  1. amounting to two in number.
  1. in two, into two separate parts, as halves: A bolt of lightning split the tree in two.
  2. put two and two together, to draw a correct conclusion from the given circumstances; infer: It didn't require a great mind to put two and two together.

Origin of two

before 900; Middle English; Old English twā (feminine and neuter; cf. twain); cognate with German zwei; compare Latin duo, Greek dýo
Can be confusedto too two Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for two

Contemporary Examples of two

Historical Examples of two

  • She was in a box with two men—one old and one young—and an older woman.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • These two have rallied their host upon his modishly trimmed side-whiskers.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • My doctor says I must let it be for at least two months, and I mean to stick by him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Mr. Milbrey glanced at the two shells of the orange which the butler was then removing.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • You were scarcely two years old, when you and your nurse suddenly disappeared.


    Lydia Maria Child

British Dictionary definitions for two


  1. the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one. It is a prime numberSee also number (def. 1)
  2. a numeral, 2, II, (ii), etc, representing this number
  3. music the numeral 2 used as the lower figure in a time signature, indicating that the beat is measured in minims
  4. something representing, represented by, or consisting of two units, such as a playing card with two symbols on it
  5. Also called: two o'clock two hours after noon or midnight
  6. in two in or into two partsbreak the bread in two
  7. put two and two together to make an inference from available evidence, esp an obvious inference
  8. that makes two of us the same applies to me
    1. amounting to twotwo nails
    2. (as pronoun)he bought two
Related formsRelated adjectives: binary, double, dualRelated prefixes: di-, bi-

Word Origin for two

Old English twā (feminine); related to Old High German zwā, Old Norse tvau, Latin, Greek duo
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 two

Old English twa, fem. and neuter form of twegen "two" (see twain), from Proto-Germanic *twai (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian twene, twa, Old Norse tveir, tvau, Dutch twee, Old High German zwene, zwo, German zwei, Gothic twai), from PIE *duwo (cf. Sanskrit dvau, Avestan dva, Greek duo, Latin duo, Old Welsh dou, Lithuanian dvi, Old Church Slavonic duva, first element in Hittite ta-ugash "two years old").

Dance style two-step is recorded from 1900. Twofer is first recorded 1911 (originally in reference to cigars), from two for (a dollar, etc.). Two cheers for _____, expressing qualified enthusiasm first recorded 1951 in E.M. Forster's title "Two Cheers for Democracy." Two-dimensional is recorded from 1883; figurative sense of "lacking substance or depth" is attested from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with two


In addition to the idioms beginning with two

  • two bits
  • two can play at that game
  • two cents
  • two left feet, have
  • two of a kind
  • two shakes of a lamb's tail
  • two strikes against
  • two strings to one's bow
  • two ways about it
  • two wrongs do not make a right

also see:

  • fall between the crack (two stools)
  • for two cents
  • game that two can play
  • goody-two-shoes
  • in two shakes
  • it takes two
  • kill two birds with one stone
  • know all the answers (a thing or two)
  • lesser of two evils
  • like as two peas in a pod
  • no two ways about it
  • of two minds
  • put two and two together
  • that makes two of us
  • thing or two
  • wear two hats
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.