Share this entry

Share this page

twain

Line breaks: twain
Pronunciation: /tweɪn
 
/

Definition of twain in English:

cardinal number

archaic term for two. he split the spar in twain

Origin

Old English twegen, masculine of twā (see two).

Phrases

never the twain shall meet

1
Used to suggest that two things are too different to exist alongside each other: families were either ‘church’ or ‘chapel’ and never the twain shall meet
[from Rudyard Kipling's ‘Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet’ (Barrack-room Ballads, 1892)]
More example sentences
  • It was Rudyard Kipling who said, ‘east is east, west is west, and never the twain shall meet.’
  • The band members sat in the Third Class carriage while the brethren of the Loyal Orange Lodge adorned the First Class carriage; never the twain shall meet.
  • Each will look after their own, and never the twain shall meet.

Definition of twain in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
noun
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words