First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Pair

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Pair mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Pair

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Pair
  1. 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.

    Note: Now mostly or quite disused

    "Two crowns in my pocket, two pair of cards." [Beau. & Fl.]
  2. 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.
  3. Two of a sort; a span; a yoke; a couple; a brace; as, a pair of horses; a pair of oxen.
  4. A married couple; a man and wife."A happy pair."Dryden."The hapless pair."Milton.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.(Parliamentary Cant)
  7. [Kinematics] In a mechanism, two elements, or bodies, which are so applied to each other as to mutually constrain relative motion.
    synonyms: Pair Flight Set.

Note: A member who is thus paired with one who would have voted oppositely is said to be paired for or paired against a measure, depending on the member's position.

Note: Pairs are named in accordance with the kind of motion they permit; thus, a journal and its bearing form a turning pair, a cylinder and its piston a sliding pair, a screw and its nut a twisting pair, etc. Any pair in which the constraining contact is along lines or at points only (as a cam and roller acting together), is designated a higher pair; any pair having constraining surfaces which fit each other (as a cylindrical pin and eye, a screw and its nut, etc.), is called a lower pair.

Usage: Originally, pair was not confined to two things, but was applied to any number of equal things ( pares), that go together. Ben Jonson speaks of a pairset) of chessmen; also, he and Lord Bacon speak of a pairpack) of cards. A “ pair of stairs” is still in popular use, as well as the later expression, “flight of stairs.”

Etymology: F. paire, LL. paria, L. paria, pl. of par pair, fr. par, adj., equal. Cf. Apparel Par equality, Peer an equal

verb Pair
  1. To be joined in pairs; to couple; to mate, as for breeding.
  2. To suit; to fit, as a counterpart."My heart was made to fit and pair with thine." [Rowe.]
  3. Same as To pair off. See phrase below.
verb Pair
  1. 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." [Pope.]
  2. To engage (one's self) with another of opposite opinions not to vote on a particular question or class of questions.(Parliamentary Cant)
verb Pair
To impair.

Etymology: See Impair

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A poker hand with 2 cards of the same value
  2. Two people considered as a unit
  3. A set of two similar things considered as a unit
  4. Two items of the same kind
  5. Bring two objects, ideas, or people together ("The student was paired with a partner for collaboration on the project")
  6. Engage in sexual intercourse
  7. Arrange in pairs ("Pair these numbers")
  8. Occur in pairs
  9. Form a pair or pairs ("The two old friends paired off")

Where is the name Pair popular?

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Popularity of Pair as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Pair as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Alabama, Texas, or Georgia.

Common first names for Pair

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Pair U.S.
  White 71.68% 64.26%
  African American 20.07% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 1.03% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 2.24% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.38% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 2.61% 16.26%

Of Last Name Pair

People with the last name Pair are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Pair

  • How Popular is the name Pair? As a last name Pair was the 14,050th most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Pair first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Pair is Sunday, October 9th, 1887.
  • How unique is the name Pair? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Pair. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Pair: Your name in reverse order is Riap. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Apri. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Pair? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 2,143 people with the last name Pair.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Pair? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Pair as their last name since less than 1 person in 137k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Pairs Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Pair born Sep 4, 1928

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Arctic approximately on 700. Your profession was dramatist, director, musician, and bard.

You were sane, practical person, materialist with no spiritual consciousness. Your simple wisdom helped the weak and the poor. You should develop your talent for love, happiness and enthusiasm and to distribute these feelings to all people.

Name poster for Pair

Name poster for Pair(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).