- 1A set of two things used together or regarded as a unit: a pair of gloves three pairs of shoesMore example sentences
- Skaters whizzed by in the rink behind them, but nobody moved to put on a pair of four-wheelers and join the throng.
- There are four main landing gear units fitted in tandem pairs.
- Whilst I was out, I also bought a couple of pairs of stockings.
- 1.1Two playing cards of the same denomination: Jacobs had two pairsMore example sentences
- One of my opponents had a pair of aces in her hand.
- The lowest winning hand can be a single pair, an ace and king, or even a single high card.
- Well, fate seemed to deny him any runs, pairs or face cards and even any metal implement to do some damage.
- 1.2Two people related in some way or considered together: a company run by a pair of brothers get out, the pair of youMore example sentences
- Sometimes Eileen will work with the children on a one to one basis, other times she will host a session with the children in pairs, so that they can speak and relate to each.
- In this race everybody goes in pairs and each pair had to get a board and paddle out to a buoy about 10 meters out and back.
- Players are invited to enter in pairs, although individuals can enter and be paired up on the day.
- 1.3The second member of a pair in relation to the first: each course member tries to persuade his pair of the merits of his modelMore example sentences
- So singletons out there, don't give up hope, your pair is out there somewhere!
- The same questionnaire asks you to indicate the qualities you would want your dating pair to possess.
- 1.4A mated couple of animals: 76 pairs of red kitesMore example sentences
- Spring is when many songbirds are most active, busy competing for mates, establishing breeding pairs, setting up territories.
- On May 1, 1999, five birds (two breeding pairs and a solitary male) remained on the plantation.
- Brian, a keen ornithologist, also informed me that there's a breeding pair of herons right there in the harbour.
- 1.5Two horses harnessed side by side: she enjoys driving her pairMore example sentences
- A neatly dressed footman in navy blue livery stood, alert, by its side and a pair of gleaming chestnut horses were in harness.
- In the distance, a pair of horses cantered cheerfully by, one of them supporting a red flag in his teeth and the other neighing joyfully at him.
- The driver tied the long reins that controlled a pair of black horses to a post by his seat and then proceeded to open the door of the carriage.
- 1.6Either or both of two members of a legislative assembly on opposite sides who absent themselves from voting by mutual arrangement, leaving the relative position of the parties unaffected: one minister was flatly refused a pair by his Tory opposite numberMore example sentences
- Voting by proxy is not allowed in Parliament but a similar effect is achieved through the practice known as 'pairs'.
- The arrangement of pairs is left in the hands of the 'Party Whips'.
- 2An article consisting of two joined or corresponding parts not used separately: a pair of jeans a pair of scissorsMore example sentences
- She went to join Caleb who had donned a pair of jeans and a sweater and was in the kitchen making breakfast.
- Pair a basic pair of jeans with a shirt you really like, or a cool belt or shoes.
- Take the necessary only… some underwear, a couple of T shirts, a pair of sneakers, a pair of jeans and maybe two pairs of shorts.
verb[with object] Back to top
- 1Put together or join to form a pair: a cardigan paired with a matching skirtMore example sentences
- Twelve months ago, the two teams were paired together in the quarter-finals.
- This was designed to protect the integrity of the championship because of the possibility of leading contenders being paired together in the first round.
- ‘Clarke and I were paired together to present a documentary on that year's Festival,’ says Bakewell.
- 1.1 [no object] (Of animals) form a pair for breeding purposes: killer whales pair for lifeMore example sentences
- White plumage may be critical for attracting a mate, but even after pairing with a female during the breeding season, a male that keeps a clean profile may have an advantage.
- In many species pairs are stable for at least three years, and some butterflyfishes may pair for life.
- These fish stay paired for at least a year and sometimes for their entire lifetime. They spawn year-round, usually near the full moon.
- 1.2 [no object] (pair off/up) Form a romantic or sexual relationship: my friends had paired off and I was the only one playing the fieldMore example sentences
- Match-makers Jane Gledhill and Chris Cunningham had hoped to be swamped with single people wanting to be paired off - but their romantic speed-dating notion has had so few admirers that they have had to call the whole thing off.
- In one deft sequence, Carrington sits outside Ham Spray House, draped in a blanket, watching the loves of her life pair off into new relationships.
- It wasn't until he became a teenager and everyone in his circle of friends began to pair off and have relationships did he come to understand what it was he felt for his long lost friend.
- 1.3Give (a member of a legislative assembly) another member as a pair, to allow both to absent themselves from a vote without affecting the result: arrangements are usually made between the party whips for an absent member on one side to be paired with an absentee on the otherMore example sentences
- When they agree to pair themselves they indicate their respective positions on the issue and the fact that their absences did not effect the outcome.
- Notwithstanding the newly formalized way of arranging pairs, House of Commons Speaker John Fraser noted in a 1992 ruling that agreements to pair still are private arrangements between Members and not matters in which House or the Speaker can intervene.
pair of hands
- Used in reference to a person seen in terms of their participation in a task: we can always do with an extra pair of handsMore example sentences
- So even if you are just someone who needs an extra pair of hands around the house for a day here is your chance to get all those jobs done that never seem to get done!
- Home-Start York needs volunteers to visit young families at home, to offer a listening ear and an extra pair of hands.
- They will provide an extra pair of hands to allow the pre-school staff and volunteers to spend more time with all the children in the group.
- More example sentences
- Additional tests were performed until all pairwise combinations of markers were examined for each trait.
- The distribution of pairwise differences in a set of sequences plays a major role in molecular evolution studies.
- Because the algorithm uses pairwise relationships the final number of clusters is identical in both species.
Middle English: from Old French paire, from Latin paria 'equal things', neuter plural of par 'equal'. Formerly phrases such as a pair of gloves were expressed without of, as in a pair gloves (compare with German ein Paar Handschuhe).