Definition of two in English:

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Pronunciation: /tuː/

cardinal number

1Equivalent to the sum of one and one; one less than three; 2: two years ago a romantic weekend for two in Paris two of Amy’s friends (Roman numeral: ii or II)
More example sentences
  • What we found when we dined there two weekends ago measured up to our expectations in every way.
  • Since then she has married, and two years ago she left her native Philadelphia for New Jersey.
  • The hearing was a review of a case heard about two years ago, and the men had pleaded guilty.
1.1A group or unit of two people or things: they would straggle home in ones and twos
More example sentences
  • But for many called up, they were just sent in ones and twos to reserve or active duty units.
  • People began drifting into the auditorium in ones and twos, while the competing teams brushed up their knowledge of various subjects, before going on stage to pit their wits against one another.
  • She's not the only one - the actors have it as well, coming down in the elevator at the Winter Garden in twos and threes, then wandering out the stage door onto Victoria St. in search of a sugar fix.
1.2Two years old: he is only two
More example sentences
  • We would expect them to have comparable mental agility until the age of two.
  • At the age of two, she was adopted by Bob and Peggy, who eventually settled in Hampshire.
  • They cater for men and boys from the age of two upwards and have trousers and jeans up to a 62 in waist.
1.3Two o’clock: the pub closed at two
More example sentences
  • It was very late one night, about two in the morning, and there was this fabulous drumming rain.
  • In his Madchester days, he once said an average night out started at two in the afternoon.
  • Further on, at about two in the morning, I left the bar and went to a cafe for a cup of coffee.
1.4A size of garment or other merchandise denoted by two.
1.5A playing card or domino with two pips.
Example sentences
  • Hola may be played with sevens as the only wild cards, twos being worthless.
  • Some people play that a single two beats any combination (in the basic game you would need three twos to beat three aces).
  • Some say that if either player has any aces and twos in their concealed hand which can be played to the centre, they must play one such card to break the stalemate.



a —— or two (or two or three ——)

A small but unspecified number: a minute or two had passed
More example sentences
  • Rewrap, leave for a minutes or two, then devour.
  • Anna was probably giving him the fluttering eyelashes right now… and in a few minutes or two… the both of them would probably be out the door hand in hand, named the next cutest couple.
  • And I think we are - though I still expect we'll take a step or two backwards for each few steps we take forwards.

be two a penny

see penny.

in two

In or into two halves or pieces: he tore the piece of paper in two
More example sentences
  • She gives him a warm smile as he folds the paper in two and hands it back to her.
  • The most startling story we heard was one who said a neighbour was in bed and a tree fell on their home and cut it in two.
  • The tree was first cut in two, then the centre of the tree was removed and the outer part shaped to act as a boat.

in two shakes (of a lamb's tail)

see shake.

it takes two to tango

see tango1.

put two and two together

Draw an obvious conclusion from what is known or evident.
Example sentences
  • It was obvious that Jae had put two and two together as well - he couldn't contain his smile as he continued to trade pleasantries with Cecilia.
  • I put two and two together and realised I was to draw a prize out of some sort from the jar.
  • He obviously put two and two together quickly, because he immediately shot up from his position on the couch and helped me up.
(put two and two together and make five)6.1 Draw a plausible but incorrect conclusion from what is known or evident.
Example sentences
  • 2 + 2 = 5: Some people put two and two together and make five.
  • ‘It's easy journalism, maybe typical of journalism today, that they put two and two together and make five,’ says Archibald.
  • It really is typical of people like him to put two and two together and make five, it is his sort of people who causes conflict in this world, the so-called do-gooders.

that makes two of us

informal One is in the same position or holds the same opinion as the previous speaker: ‘I haven’t a clue!’ ‘That makes two of us.’
More example sentences
  • Hey, that makes two of us.
  • ‘Then that makes two of us,’ he stated, ‘Much as I love making words, I hate looking at the dictionary, I get so easily captivated by words that I lose myself.’
  • ‘Well that makes two of us… ‘Abby said as she stepped back over to Lindsey.’

two by two (or two and two)

Side by side in pairs: they came aboard two by two
More example sentences
  • A couple of hundred protestors set off down the sidewalk, two by two, like a procession of obedient school-children on a class trip, attracting jeers from young anarchists as they passed.
  • And then there were the 40 or 50 lesser nuns following behind her, two by two, just like a parade of schoolchildren on a daytrip.
  • However, Wednesday saw their triumphant return as staff and pupils walked happily two by two, in a symbolic gesture, back through the school gates.

two can play at that game

informal Used to assert that one is equally capable of copying another’s strategy, to their disadvantage.
Example sentences
  • Well, two can play at that game and I have recently stolen a copy off a friend of mine, and am loving it.
  • By showing that two can play at that game, he hoped to teach politicians a lesson about lying, demonstrating that what goes around can also come back around to bite you.
  • But two can play at that game, and they also hinted, quite forcefully, at legal action based on the Human Rights Act.

two cents (or two cents' worth)

North American informal An unsolicited opinion: Mom got her two cents in
More example sentences
  • My own two cents' worth: more automation in the handling of clinical language will be a huge win, given the amount of text out there, to say nothing of the medical research literature.
  • Having read through the seven articles in the latest DipWorld, I now feel a strange compulsion to submit my own two cents' worth.
  • Since these albums have been successful, everybody wants to put their two cents worth in, you know.

two's company, three's a crowd

Two people, especially lovers, should be left alone together.
Example sentences
  • Immortality is like the little brother tagging along when his big sister goes for a drive with a date, a light comedy motif in the movies of the forties, the erotic variant of two's company, three's a crowd.

two heads are better than one

proverb It’s helpful to have the advice or opinion of a second person.
Example sentences
  • Although I have been vested with the power to decide whom I want to elect as my leader, there is no harm in getting other people's opinion; after all two heads are better than one!
  • ‘People are realising that two heads are better than one,’ says Hill.
  • Only time will tell if it was the correct route to follow, but the old adage that two heads are better than one will hopefully augment our own individual attributes.


Old English twā (feminine and neuter) of Germanic origin; related to Dutch twee and German zwei, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin and Greek duo. Compare with twain.

  • An Old English word from the same source as twain, twelve, twenty, twilight, and twin (all OE), with an ancient root shared by Latin and Greek duo, source of double (Middle English), duo (late 16th century), duplicate (Late Middle English), and other words. The formula it takes two to…appeared in the 1850s in it takes two to make a quarrel, and in the 1940s in it takes two to make a bargain ( see also tango). The saying two's company, three's a crowd was originally two's company, three's none, in the 1730s. Before the British currency was decimalized in 1971 twopence or tuppence was a standard sum. To add or put in your twopenn'orth is to contribute your opinion; twopenn'orth is a contraction of twopennyworth meaning ‘an amount costing two pence’, used also for ‘a small or insignificant amount’.

Words that rhyme with two

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, through, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

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