pair /ˈpær, ˈpɛr/
Pair, v. t.
1. To unite in couples; to form a pair of; to bring together, as things which belong together, or which complement, or are adapted to one another.
Glossy jet is paired with shining white. --Pope.
2. To engage (one's self) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions. [Parliamentary Cant]
Paired fins. Zool. See under Fin.
1. A number of things resembling one another, or belonging together; a set; as, a pair or flight of stairs. “A pair of beads.” --Chaucer. --Beau. & Fl. “Four pair of stairs.” --Macaulay.
Note: [Now mostly or quite disused.]
Two crowns in my pocket, two pair of cards. --Beau. & Fl.
2. Two things of a kind, similar in form, suited to each other, and intended to be used together; as, a pair of gloves or stockings; a pair of shoes.
3. Two of a sort; a span; a yoke; a couple; a brace; as, a pair of horses; a pair of oxen.
4. A married couple; a man and wife. “A happy pair.” --Dryden. “The hapless pair.” --Milton.
5. A single thing, composed of two pieces fitted to each other and used together; as, a pair of scissors; a pair of pants; a pair of tongs; a pair of bellows.
6. Two members of opposite parties or opinion, as in a parliamentary body, who mutually agree not to vote on a given question (in order, for example, to allow the members to be absent during the vote without affecting the outcome of the vote), or on issues of a party nature during a specified time; as, there were two pairs on the final vote. [Parliamentary Cant]
Note: A member who is thus paired with one who would have voted oppositely is said to be paired for or paired against a measure, depending on the member's position.
7. Kinematics In a mechanism, two elements, or bodies, which are so applied to each other as to mutually constrain relative motion.
Note: ☞ Pairs are named in accordance with the kind of motion they permit; thus, a journal and its bearing form a turning pair, a cylinder and its piston a sliding pair, a screw and its nut a twisting pair, etc. Any pair in which the constraining contact is along lines or at points only (as a cam and roller acting together), is designated a higher pair; any pair having constraining surfaces which fit each other (as a cylindrical pin and eye, a screw and its nut, etc.), is called a lower pair.
Pair royal (pl. Pairs Royal) three things of a sort; -- used especially of playing cards in some games, as cribbage; as three kings, three “eight spots” etc. Four of a kind are called a double pair royal. “Something in his face gave me as much pleasure as a pair royal of naturals in my own hand.” --Goldsmith. “That great pair royal of adamantine sisters [the Fates].” --Quarles. [Written corruptly parial and prial.]
Syn: -- Pair, Flight, Set.
Usage: Originally, pair was not confined to two things, but was applied to any number of equal things (pares), that go together. Ben Jonson speaks of a pair (set) of chessmen; also, he and Lord Bacon speak of a pair (pack) of cards. A “pair of stairs” is still in popular use, as well as the later expression, “flight of stairs.”
Pair, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Paired p. pr. & vb. n. Pairing.]
1. To be joined in pairs; to couple; to mate, as for breeding.
2. To suit; to fit, as a counterpart.
My heart was made to fit and pair with thine. --Rowe.
3. Same as To pair off. See phrase below.
To pair off, to separate from a group in pairs or couples; specif. (Parliamentary Cant), to agree with one of the opposite party or opinion to abstain from voting on specified questions or issues. See Pair, n., 6.
Pair, v. t. To impair. [Obs.]
n 1: a set of two similar things considered as a unit [syn: brace]
2: two items of the same kind [syn: couple, twosome, twain,
brace, span, yoke, couplet, distich, duo, duet,
3: two people considered as a unit
4: a poker hand with 2 cards of the same value
v 1: form a pair or pairs; "The two old friends paired off" [syn:
pair off, partner off, couple]
2: bring two objects, ideas, or people together; "This fact is
coupled to the other one"; "Matchmaker, can you match my
daughter with a nice young man?"; "The student was paired
with a partner for collaboration on the project" [syn: match,
mate, couple, twin]
3: occur in pairs [syn: geminate]
4: arrange in pairs; "Pair these numbers" [syn: geminate]
5: make love; "Birds mate in the Spring" [syn: copulate, mate,