Meaning of “pair” in the English Dictionary

"pair" in British English

See all translations

pairnoun [ C ]

uk /peər/ us /per/

A2 two things of the same appearance and size that are intended to be used together, or something that consists of two parts joined together:

a pair of shoes/gloves
a pair of scissors/glasses
I can't find a matching pair of socks.
He packed two pairs of trousers and four shirts.
I'd like you to do this exercise in pairs (= in groups of two).

two people who have a romantic relationship or are doing something together:

They seem a very happy pair.
What have the pair of you been up to?

two animals that come together to have sex and produce young:

a breeding pair
a mated pair of swans

More examples

pairverb [ I,T ]

uk /peər/ us /per/

(Definition of “pair” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pair" in American English

See all translations

pairnoun [ C ]

us /peər/ plural pairs or pair

two things of the same appearance and size that are intended to be used together, or something that consists of two parts joined together:

a pair of gloves/shoes
a pair of pants/scissors
Each package contains three pairs of socks.

pairverb [ I/T ]

us /peər/

to make or become one of a pair:

[ T ] Famous paintings have been paired with poems by Sandburg, Angelou, and others.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “pair” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"pair" in Business English

See all translations

pairnoun [ C ]

uk /peər/ us

two people, things, or organizations that work, are used, or appear together:

The pair are accused of securities fraud.
The carpenters worked in pairs.

pairverb

uk /peər/ us

[ T ] also pair off to combine two things to produce a particular result:

pair (off) sth with sth He is asking the state for a $26 million investment to be paired with private support of $10 million.
Some funds combine long and short positions, usually pairing off stocks in the same industry.

[ I or T ] to put two people or groups together to work or learn something, or to form a group of two for these purposes:

The instructor paired us off, so that we could test the new techniques.
pair sb (off) with sb Ms. Morris was paired with Ms. Lindsay, with whom she spent two days learning about various aspects of running a wine business.
Employees paired off and began their tasks.

(Definition of “pair” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)