American English

Definition of pair noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    two things the same
  1. 1two 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. a pair of aces/kings (= two playing cards that have the same value)
  2. two parts joined
  3. 2an object consisting of two parts that are joined together a pair of pants/jeans, etc. a pair of glasses/binoculars/scissors, etc. A plural verb is sometimes used with pair in the singular in senses 1 and 2. In informal English some people use pair as a plural form:three pair of shoes. This is not considered correct in written English.
  4. two people
  5. 3two people who are doing something together or who have a particular relationship Get pairs of students to act out the dialogue in front of the class. (informal) I've had enough of the pair of you! A plural verb is usually used:A pair of children were kicking a ball around.The pair are planning a trip to India together.
  6. two animals/birds
  7. 4two animals or birds of the same type that are breeding together a breeding pair a pair of swans pair bonding (= the process of animals forming a pair for breeding) see also au pair
  8. Idioms in groups of two objects or people Students worked in pairs on the project.
    I only have one pair of hands (informal)
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    used to say that you are too busy to do anything else
    a pair of hands (informal)
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    a person who can do, or is doing, a job We need an extra pair of hands if we're going to finish on time. Colleagues regard him as a safe pair of hands (= someone who can be relied on to do a job well).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pair