Meaning of PAIR in English

PAIR

/ peə(r); NAmE per/ noun , verb

■ noun

TWO THINGS THE SAME

1.

[ C ] two things of the same type, especially when they are used or worn together :

a pair of gloves / shoes / earrings, etc.

a huge pair of eyes

The vase is one of a matching pair .

TWO PARTS JOINED

2.

[ C ] an object consisting of two parts that are joined together :

a pair of trousers / pants / jeans, etc.

a pair of glasses / binoculars / scissors, etc.

HELP NOTE : A plural verb is sometimes used with pair in the singular in senses 1 and 2. In informal NAmE some people use pair as a plural form:

three pair of shoes

. This is not considered correct in written English.

TWO PEOPLE

3.

[ C +sing./pl. v . ] two people who are doing sth together or who have a particular relationship :

Get pairs of students to act out the dialogue in front of the class.

Get the students to do the exercise as pair work (= two students work together).

( informal )

I've had enough of the pair of you!

HELP NOTE : In BrE a plural verb is usually used:

A pair of children were kicking a ball about.

The pair are planning a trip to India together.

TWO ANIMALS / BIRDS

4.

[ C +sing./pl. v . ] two animals or birds of the same type that are breeding together :

a breeding pair

a pair of swans

TWO HORSES

5.

[ C ] two horses working together to pull a carriage :

a carriage and pair

—see also au pair

IDIOMS

- a pair of hands

- in pairs

- I've only got one pair of hands

■ verb

MAKE GROUPS OF TWO

1.

[ vn ] [ usually passive ] pair A with B | pair A and B (together) to put people or things into groups of two :

Each blind student was paired with a sighted student.

All the shoes on the floor were neatly paired.

OF ANIMALS / BIRDS

2.

[ v ] ( technical ) to come together in order to breed :

Many of the species pair for life.

PHRASAL VERBS

- pair off (with sb) | pair sb off (with sb)

- pair up (with sb) | pair sb up (with sb)

••

WORD ORIGIN

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 ).

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.