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  • "He looked wistfully at the pair of crutches."
    "He looked wistfully at the pair of crutches."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v pair 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"
    • v pair engage in sexual intercourse "Birds mate in the Spring"
    • v pair arrange in pairs "Pair these numbers"
    • v pair occur in pairs
    • v pair form a pair or pairs "The two old friends paired off"
    • n pair a poker hand with 2 cards of the same value
    • n pair two people considered as a unit
    • n pair a set of two similar things considered as a unit
    • n pair two items of the same kind
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A pair of adult elephants A pair of adult elephants
Near the foundation of the probable bake shop, a pair of kilns once served for slaking lime, and perhaps for firing pottery. Between the kilns was a flame-scarred pit containing evidence of ironworking and the roasting of bog ore for iron Near the foundation of the probable bake shop, a pair of kilns once served for slaking lime, and perhaps for firing...

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The beeswax that is produced by Honey bees comes from eight paired glands that are located on the underside of their stomach
    • Pair A married couple; a man and wife. "A happy pair .""The hapless pair ."
    • Pair 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. Now mostly or quite disused "Two crowns in my pocket, two pair of cards."
    • Pair 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.
    • Pair (Kinematics) In a mechanism, two elements, or bodies, which are so applied to each other as to mutually constrain relative motion.
    • Pair Same as To pair off. See phrase below.
    • Pair To be joined in pairs; to couple; to mate, as for breeding.
    • Pair To engage (one's self) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions.
    • v. t Pair To impair.
    • Pair To suit; to fit, as a counterpart. "My heart was made to fit and pair with thine."
    • Pair 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."
    • Pair 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.
    • Pair Two of a sort; a span; a yoke; a couple; a brace; as, a pair of horses; a pair of oxen.
    • Pair 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.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Centipedes always have an uneven pairs of walking legs
    • n pair Two things of a kind, similar in form, identical in purpose, and matched or used together: as, a pair of gloves; a pair of shoes.
    • n pair A single thing composed essentially of two pieces or parts which are used only in combination and named only in the plural: as, a pair of scissors, trousers, or spectacles.
    • n pair A couple; a brace; a span: as, a pair of pistols; a pair of horses.
    • n pair Specifically.
    • n pair A married couple; in general, two mated animals of any kind.
    • n pair A set of like or equal things: restricted to a few (mostly obsolete) phrases: as, a pair (or pack) of cards; a pair (or flight) of stairs; a pair of organs (that is, a set of organ-pipes, hence an organ); a pair of gallows (that is, a gibbet); a pair of beads (see bead).
    • n pair In archery, a set of three arrows.
    • n pair In mining, a set or gang of men working together at the same hours.
    • n pair In deliberative bodies, two members belonging to opposing parties who for their own convenience (as to permit one or both of them to be absent) arrange with each other to refrain from voting for a specified time or on a specified question, thus nullifying a vote on each side; also, the arrangement thus effected. See pairing.
    • n pair In poker, two of the same denomination, without regard to suit or color: as, a pair of aces or deuces.
    • n pair See the adjectives.
    • n pair =Syn. 1-3. Pair, Couple, Yoke, Brace, Dyad, Duad. Pair and couple properly express two individuals or unities naturally or habitually going together or making a set: as, a pair of horses, gloves, oars; a wedded pair; a loving couple; but pair also means two things alike and put together, and couple has by colloquial use come to be often applied to two, however accidentally brought together: as, give him a couple of apples. Yoke, on the other hand, applies only to two animals customarily yoked together: as, a yoke of oxen. Brace is rather a hunters' term, with limited and peculiar application: as, a brace of partridges, pistols, slugs. Dyad is used in philosophical and mathematical language only. Duad is a special mathematical word signifying an unordered pair.
    • pair To form a pair or pairs; specifically, to be joined in pairs as birds are in the breeding season; mate; couple.
    • pair To suit; fit; match.
    • pair To abstain from voting by arrangement with a member of the opposite party to do the same: said of members of deliberative assemblies. See pairing.
    • pair To join in couples; specifically, to cause to mate: as, to pair a canary with a siskin.
    • pair To unite or assort in twos as well suited to each other.
    • pair To impair.
    • pair To become impaired; deteriorate.
    • n pair In roulette, an even number.
    • n pair In mech., two parts or pieces, each of which acts against the other to hold it in position or to restrain its motion, as a bearing and journal, or a screw and nut.
    • pair In cribbage, to match (the card last played by the adversary).
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Subbookkeeper is the only word with four pairs of double letters in a row.
    • v.t Pair pār (Spens.) to impair.
    • n Pair pār two things equal, or suited to each other, or used together: a set of two equal or like things forming one instrument, as a pair of scissors, tongs, &c., a set of like things generally: in building, a flight of stairs: a couple: a man and his wife: two members of a legislative body, holding opposite opinions, who agree with each other to abstain from voting for a certain time, so as to permit one or both to be absent
    • v.t Pair to join in couples
    • v.i Pair to be joined in couples: to fit as a counterpart
    • ***


  • Italian Proverb
    Italian Proverb
    “Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    “A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The gift of friendship... a willingness to listen... a pair of helping hands... a whisper from the heart. That someone cares and understands.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    “There is room in the smallest cottage for a happy loving pair.”
  • Sydney Smith
    “It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.”
  • Sydney Smith
    “Married couples resemble a pair of scissors, often moving in opposite directions, yet punishing anyone who gets in between them.”


A fresh pair of eyes - A person who is brought in to examine something carefully is a fresh pair of eyes.
Safe pair of hands - A person who can be trusted to do something without causing any trouble is a safe pair of hands.
Show someone a clean pair of heels - If you show someone a clean pair of heels, you run faster than them when they are chasing you.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. paire, LL. paria, L. paria, pl. of par, pair, fr. par, adj., equal. Cf. Apparel Par equality, Peer an equal


In literature:

Tip darted into a doorway, intent on lying in wait for the pair.
"Uncle Sam's Boys in the Ranks" by H. Irving Hancock
The second had been seized and appropriated to their own use by another pair of birds.
"A Bird-Lover in the West" by Olive Thorne Miller
Staupitz swung round in his chair, upsetting a tankard in his angry movement, as he glared, all rage, at the strangely assorted pair.
"The Duke's Motto" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
Throughout the meal I watched the pair carefully, trying to overhear their conversation.
"Hushed Up" by William Le Queux
It is not amiss to be provided with an extra pair of gloves which will be very useful should the first pair come to grief.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
Scouts in this way should {22} work in pairs, Nos.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America
At the store of Louis & Hayes it was found that the entire lot of shoes, one dozen pairs, had been purchased by them from Portsmouth.
"The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan" by Unknown
The pair watered their horses, loosened their saddle-cinches, and permitted the animals to graze with reins dangling.
"The Coyote" by James Roberts
A pair of terminal tongs is a very convenient tool.
"The Automobile Storage Battery" by O. A. Witte
A few pairs also nest on islands in some of the inland bodies of fresh water.
"The Bird Book" by Chester A. Reed
The petticoat was short, displaying well a pair of feet and ankles which left much to be desired in the article of symmetry.
"Shirley" by Charlotte Brontë
The idea of having killed a man with such an instrument as half a pair of scissors seemed to turn my stomach.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 20 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
He was keen to say good-bye to ye, but, the way that things were going, I was feared the pair of ye was maybe best apart.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 11 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Boots are now bringing $50 per pair; candles (tallow) 75 cts.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
At the edge of the little wood the pair turned and looked back.
"'Jena' or 'Sedan'?" by Franz Beyerlein
The annual sale of globes is only about a thousand pair.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 2, July, 1850." by Various
The higher vertebrate knows, so far as we may ascertain, only two forms of the family: polygamy or pairs.
"The Origin of the Family Private Property and the State" by Frederick Engels
Pair's patronage, and the second saint is St. Maur.
"Romanesque Art in Southern Manche: Album" by Marie Lebert
Furthermore, behind the legs of the last pair two pairs of appendages are present.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 6" by Various
The pair had entered, and the taxi was awaiting them.
"Spies of the Kaiser" by William Le Queux

In poetry:

An' she'd blush scarlit, right in prayer,
When her new meetin'-bunnet
Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair
O' blue eyes sot upun it.
"The Courtin'" by James Russell Lowell
"See yonder pair! no worldly views
In Chloe's generous breast resided:
Love bade her the spruce valet choose,
And she by potent love was guided.
"Cupid and Plutus" by William Shenstone
Then he tied both their pigtails together
And the pair in the river he threw
As they floated away tied together
He sang, 'I'll string along with you.'
"The Street Of A Thousand Lanterns 1934" by Billy Bennett
With thankful Hearts and strengthen'd Love,
The poor old PAIR, supremely blest,
Saw the Sun sink behind the grove,
And gain'd once more their lowly rest.
"Richard and Kate: A suffolk Ballad" by Robert Bloomfield
The girls were sisters. Both were fair,
But mine was the fairer (so I say).
The dark soon severed us, pair from pair,
And not long after we lost our way.
"A Lost Opportunity" by Robert Fuller Murray
An empty nest! It used to bear
A happy burden, when the breeze
Of summer rocked it, and a pair
Of merry tattlers told the trees
What treasures they had hidden there.
"An Empty Nest" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

"I had one friend wear them to a job interview and the woman across from her had on a similar pair of earrings," she says.
Adult purple martins watch as another pair tend to their young in Tony Lau's Otsego, Minn. Worley for The New York Times.
Especially because I was pairing with stout, ...
Canton police are investigating a pair of accidents that happened in the early hours of Wednesday - 9:41 am.
No, pepper itself doesn't taste sweet, but its trademark bite does pair well with sweet ingredients.
How about these three pairings, though.
A pair of Montgomery County churches are helping to make Christmas better for more than 600 children in South Dakota.
The Washington County Commission considered a pair of hot-button issues during their Monday night meeting.
Bleu Bistro will host a wine pairing event featuring the Caymus Vineyard of Napa Valley.
The pair are battling for the starting left tackle position.
The pairing of gorgonzola cheese and pears is traditional and delicious.
You can walk in and pick out any pair of jeans, boots, belt and T-shirt, and you're about as close to being Keith Richards as you're going to get without having a few blood transfusions.
The mother-and-daughter body-building pair are the picture of health, bearing few of the scars of their tumultuous early journeys.
CICERO – A pair of Norwich sophomores placed at the New York State Division II Track and Field Meet, this past weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
"We pair our clients with a bookkeeper without ever having that office seat taken or having to worry about benefits.".

In science:

We note that Eqs. (13) and (14) transform a pair of length differences into another pair of length differences independent of the other pairs at the same time t.
High precision simulations of the longest common subsequence problem
In other words, the sequence ~x has the interesting property that equality at any pair of locations implies inequality at the pair of their immediate successors and the pair of their immediate predecessors.
Guaranteeing the diversity of number generators
There is the following straightforward characterization of these two torsion pairs as the extremal ones when dealing with all the torsion pairs of Mod Λ with prescribed distribution of the finite dimensional modules: we deal with the torsion pairs (X, Y ) with t ⊂ X and q ⊂ Y .
Infinite dimensional representations of canonical algebras
As a consequence, the pair (F, g (t)) where F = r(t), is a torsion pair (but this is a torsion pair which is not split).
Infinite dimensional representations of canonical algebras
In order to obtain the detailed spectrum in the pair-cascade model we need to simulate electron–positron plasmas including the effects of synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, pair creation, pair annihilation, Coulomb scattering, e–e bremsstrahlung, and so on.
Photon Emission in a Cascade from Relativistic Protons Initiated by Residual Thermal Photons in Gamma-Ray Bursts
Following the convention, we define the “pair yield” as P Y ≡ R dγ±P (γ±)/ R dγ±Q(γ±)(γ± − 1), where Q(γ± ) is the rate of injection of pairs of γ± via the pion decay, and P (γ±) is the rate at which secondary pairs of γ± are created via pair production.
Photon Emission in a Cascade from Relativistic Protons Initiated by Residual Thermal Photons in Gamma-Ray Bursts
Thus, by Borcherds [Bo, Lemma 9.6, Theorem 9.5], there are two isometries in Aut(D) whose restrictions on R give rise to two involutions in S ym(R), one switching the pair of A2 ’s as well as the pair of A1 ’s, and the other switching the pair of A1 ’s only.
The Alternating Group of degree 6 in Geometry of the Leech Lattice and K3 Surfaces
To the semimatroid C, we have assigned a pair (M, I ) ∈ MatId(S ), a pair (M, N ) ∈ MatPreim(S ) and a pair (M, eN ) ∈ MatCoext(S ).
Semimatroids and their Tutte polynomials
One now asks a natural question whether these four pairs, together with the above three pairs, generate all possible pairs of order coincidence.
Arithmetic of algebraic groups
One now asks a natural question whether these four pairs, together with the pairs described in the remark (IV.12), generate all possible pairs of order coincidence.
Arithmetic of algebraic groups
Therefore, a quadrilateral 2-face Q containing V is of one of the following types: either Q corresponds to a pair of joined nodes in ΣV (there are n − 1 of such pairs) or to one of two pairs described above for each of the connected components (or “components” for n = 10) of the diagram Σ(5) V .
On simple ideal hyperbolic Coxeter polytopes
Select s in S pairs and put S pairs := S pairs \ {s}.
Truncated Groebner fans and lattice ideals
Thus, every pair of the form (3.5) is identifiable with a pair of the form (3.6), and, since the real part of the equal, vector and covector, components of the two pairs must be the same, we must have X = Y and ξ ∼ η modulo ann T N .
Reduction and submanifolds of generalized complex manifolds
For any pair measure Q ∈ eP(Zd × Zd ) with In (3.13) there is a sum over all pair measures in P(N ) finite relative entropy H (Q|Q⊗m) and finite functional I (Q) β we need an approximation with a sequence (QN )N ∈N of pair probability measures QN ∈ P(N ) Λ converging to Q as N → ∞ in an appropriate way.
Asymptotic Feynman-Kac formulae for large symmetrised systems of random walks
The probability that one given point joins another is then asymptotic to 1/(dn), since any pair of unmatched points is equally likely to be paired and the whole process has, by Corollary 2.2, matched at most n1/2+o(1) = o(n) pairs of points to this moment.
Geodesics and almost geodesic cycles in random regular graphs