Meaning of PAIR in English
I. pair 1 S2 W2 /peə $ per/ BrE AmE noun ( plural pairs or pair ) [countable]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: paire , from Latin paria 'equal things' , from par ; ⇨ ↑ par ]
1 . JOINED TOGETHER an object that is made from two similar parts that are joined together
pair of trousers/scissors/glasses etc
two pairs of jeans
a pair of black tights
BELONGING TOGETHER two things of the same type that are used together
a new pair of sandals
pair of hands/eyes/legs etc
She felt as if every pair of eyes in the room was on her.
earrings, £5 a pair
a pair of skis
We have five pairs of free tickets to give away.
3 . in pairs in groups of two:
We worked in pairs for the role-play exercise.
The leaves of the tree are arranged in pairs.
4 . TWO PEOPLE two people who are standing or doing something together, or who have some type of connection with each other:
The pair are looking for sponsorship from local businesses.
a pair of dancers
► Do not use pair to talk about a husband and wife (or two people in a similar relationship). Use couple : They’re a nice couple (NOT pair).
5 . the pair of you/them British English spoken used when you are angry or annoyed with two people:
Oh, get out, the pair of you.
6 . TWO ANIMALS
a) a male and a female animal that come together in order to ↑ breed
a pair of doves
a breeding pair
b) old use two horses that work together
7 . I’ve only got one pair of hands spoken used to say that you are busy and cannot do any more than you are already doing
8 . an extra pair of hands someone who helps you do something when you are busy:
Having an extra pair of hands during busy periods can take the pressure off.
9 . a safe pair of hands someone you can trust and depend on because they are sensible – used especially in news reports:
Colleagues regard him as a safe pair of hands.
• • •
▪ pair two things of the same type that you use together. Also used about two people who do something together or who you often see together:
a pair of shoes
a pair of socks
Winners will receive a pair of tickets for the show.
The pair were arrested six days after the killing.
They're a funny pair!
The British pair will be playing in the final on Saturday.
▪ a couple (of something) two things of the same type, or a very small number of things:
There were a couple of empty seats at the table.
Do you have any stamps? I just need a couple.
▪ couple noun [countable] two people who are married or having a sexual relationship:
a married couple
The couple met at university.
▪ twins noun [plural] two children who were born on the same day to the same mother:
The twins look very alike.
▪ duo noun [countable] two people who perform together or who are often seen together:
a comedy duo
▪ duet noun [countable] a piece of music written for two people to play:
They played a duet by Brahms.
▪ twice two times adverb :
The group meets twice a week.
She sneezed twice.
II. pair 2 BrE AmE verb
1 . [I, T usually passive] to put people or things into groups of two, or to form groups of two
be paired with somebody
We were each paired with a newcomer to help with training.
2 . ( also pair up ) [intransitive] if animals pair, they come together in order to ↑ breed
pair off phrasal verb
to come together or bring two people together to have a romantic relationship:
All the others were pairing off and I was left on my own.
pair somebody off with somebody
My aunt was forever pairing me off with unsuitable men.
pair up phrasal verb
1 . British English to become friends and start to have a relationship:
We learned later that he and Tanya had paired up.
2 . to work together to do something or to put two people together to do something:
They first paired up in the screen adaptation of ‘Grease’.
pair somebody ↔ up
They have paired up writers and artists, and commissioned linked works.
3 . if animals pair up, they come together in order to ↑ breed
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012