Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Pair noun [ French paire , Late Latin paria , Latin paria , plural of par pair, from par , adj., equal. Confer Apparel , Par equality, Peer an equal.]


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. [ Now mostly or quite disused, except as to stairs.]

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 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, 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.

» 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 .

Pair royal (pl. Pairs Royal ) three things of a sort; -- used especially of playing cards in some games, as cribbage; as three kings, three "eight spots" etc. Four of a kind are called a double pair royal . "Something in his face gave me as much pleasure as a pair royal of naturals in my own hand." Goldsmith. "That great pair royal of adamantine sisters [ the Fates]." Quarles. [ Written corruptly parial and prial .]

Syn. -- Pair , Flight , Set . 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 pair (set) of chessmen; also, he and Lord Bacon speak of a pair (pack) of cards. A " pair of stairs" is still in popular use, as well as the later expression, "flight of stairs."

Pair intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Paired ; present participle & verbal noun Pairing .]
1. To be joined in paris; 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.

To pair off , to separate from a company in pairs or couples; specif. (Parliamentary Cant), to agree with one of the opposite party or opinion to abstain from voting on specified questions or issues. See Pair , noun , 6.

Pair transitive verb
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]

Paired fins . (Zoology) See under Fin .

Pair transitive verb [ See Impair .] To impair. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Pairer noun One who impairs. [ Obsolete] Wyclif.

Pairing noun [ See Pair , intransitive verb ]
1. The act or process of uniting or arranging in pairs or couples.

2. See To pair off , under Pair , intransitive verb

Pairyng time , the time when birds or other animals pair.

Pairment noun Impairment. [ Obsolete] Wyclif.

Pais noun [ Old French puïs , French pays , country.] (O. E. Law) The country; the people of the neighborhood.

» A trial per pais is a trial by the country, that is, by a jury; and matter in pais is matter triable by the country, or jury.

Paisano noun [ Spanish , of the country, ...ative.] (Zoology) The chaparral cock.

Paise noun [ Obs .] See Poise . Chapman.

Pajamas noun plural [ Hind. pā-jāma , pāejāma , lit., leg closing.] Originally, in India, loose drawers or trousers, such as those worn, tied about the waist, by Mohammedan men and women; by extension, a similar garment adopted among Europeans, Americans, etc., for wear in the dressing room and during sleep; also, a suit consisting of drawers and a loose upper garment for such wear.

Pajock noun A peacock. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Pakfong noun See Packfong .

Pal noun [ Etymol. uncertain.] A mate; a partner; esp., an accomplice or confederate. [ Slang]

Palace noun [ Middle English palais , French palais , from Latin palatium , from Palatium , one of the seven hills of Rome, ... which Augustus had his residence. Confer Paladin .]


1. The residence of a sovereign, including the lodgings of high officers of state, and rooms for business, as well as halls for ceremony and reception. Chaucer.

2. The official residence of a bishop or other distinguished personage.

3. Loosely, any unusually magnificent or stately house.

Palace car . See under Car . -- Palace court , a court having jurisdiction of personal actions arising within twelve miles of the palace at Whitehall. The court was abolished in 1849. [ Eng.] Mozley & W.

Palacious adjective Palatial. [ Obsolete] Graunt.

Paladin noun [ French, from Italian paladino , from Latin palatinus an officer of the palace. See Palatine .] A knight-errant; a distinguished champion; as, the paladins of Charlemagne. Sir W. Scott.

Palama noun ; plural Palamme . [ New Latin , from Greek ... the palm.] (Zoology) A membrane extending between the toes of a bird, and uniting them more or less closely together.

Palamate adjective [ From Palma .] (Zoology) Web-footed.

Palamedeæ noun plural [ New Latin ] (Zoology) An order, or suborder, including the kamichi, and allied South American birds; -- called also screamers . In many anatomical characters they are allied to the Anseres, but they externally resemble the wading birds.

Palampore noun See Palempore .

Palanka noun [ Confer Italian , Portuguese , & Spanish palanca , from Latin palanga , phalanga a pole, Greek ... ] (Mil.) A camp permanently intrenched, attached to Turkish frontier fortresses.

Palanquin noun [ French palanquin , Portuguese palanquim , Javan. palangki , OJavan. palangkan , through Prakrit from Sanskrit parya...ka , palya...ka , bed, couch; pari around (akin to E. prefix peri- ) + a...ka a hook, flank, probably akin to English angle fishing tackle. Confer Palkee .] An inclosed carriage or litter, commonly about eight feet long, four feet wide, and four feet high, borne on the shoulders of men by means of two projecting poles, -- used in India, China, etc., for the conveyance of a single person from place to place. [ Written also palankeen .]

Palapteryx noun [ Paleo- + apteryx .] (Paleon.) A large extinct ostrichlike bird of New Zealand.

Palatability noun Palatableness.

Palatable adjective [ From Palate .] Agreeable to the palate or taste; savory; hence, acceptable; pleasing; as, palatable food; palatable advice.

Palatableness noun The quality or state of being agreeable to the taste; relish; acceptableness.

Palatably adverb In a palatable manner.

Palatal adjective [ Confer French palatal .]
1. Of or pertaining to the palate; palatine; as, the palatal bones.

2. (Phonetics) Uttered by the aid of the palate; -- said of certain sounds, as the sound of k in kirk .

Palatal noun (Phon.) A sound uttered, or a letter pronounced, by the aid of the palate, as the letters k and y .

Palatalize transitive verb (Phon.) To palatize.

Palate noun [ Latin palatum : confer French palais , Of. also palat .]
1. (Anat.) The roof of the mouth.

» The fixed portion, or palate proper, supported by the maxillary and palatine bones, is called the hard palate to distinguish it from the membranous and muscular curtain which separates the cavity of the mouth from the pharynx and is called the soft palate , or velum .

2. Relish; taste; liking; -- a sense originating in the mistaken notion that the palate is the organ of taste.

Hard task! to hit the palate of such guests.
Pope.

3. Fig.: Mental relish; intellectual taste. T. Baker.

4. (Botany) A projection in the throat of such flowers as the snapdragon.

Palate transitive verb To perceive by the taste. [ Obsolete] Shak.

Palatial adjective [ Latin palatium palace. See Palace .] Of or pertaining to a palace; suitable for a palace; resembling a palace; royal; magnificent; as, palatial structures. " Palatial style." A. Drummond.

Palatial adjective [ From Palate .] (Anat.) Palatal; palatine. [ Obsolete] Barrow.

Palatial noun A palatal letter. [ Obsolete] Sir W. Jones.

Palatic adjective (Anat.) Palatal; palatine.

Palatic noun (Phon.) A palatal. [ R.]

Palatinate noun [ French palatinat . See Palatine .] The province or seigniory of a palatine; the dignity of a palatine. Howell.

Palatinate transitive verb To make a palatinate of. [ Obsolete] Fuller.

Palatine adjective [ French palatin , Latin palatinus , from palatium . See Palace , and confer Paladin .] Of or pertaining to a palace, or to a high officer of a palace; hence, possessing royal privileges.

Count palatine , County palatine . See under Count , and County . -- Palatine hill , or The palatine , one of the seven hills of Rome, once occupied by the palace of the Cæsars. See Palace .

Palatine noun
1. One invested with royal privileges and rights within his domains; a count palatine. See Count palatine , under 4th Count .

2. The Palatine hill in Rome.

Palatine adjective [ From Palate.] (Anat.) Of or pertaining to the palate.

Palatine bones (Anat.) , a pair of bones (often united in the adult) in the root of the mouth, back of and between the maxillaries.

Palatine noun (Anat.) A palatine bone.

Palative adjective Pleasing to the taste; palatable. [ Obsolete] " Palative delights." Sir T. Browne.

Palæo- See Paleo- .

Palæographer noun , Pa`læ*o*graph"ic adjective , etc. See Paleographer , Paleographic , etc.

Palæotype noun [ Palæo- + -type .] (Phon.) A system of representing all spoken sounds by means of the printing types in common use. Ellis. -- Pa`læ*o*typ"ic*al adjective -- Pa`læ*o*typ"ic*al*ly , adverb

Palæstra noun See Palestra .

Palæstric adjective See Palestric .

Palætiologist noun One versed in palætiology.

Palætiology noun [ Pal æo- + ætiology .] The science which explains, by the law of causation, the past condition and changes of the earth. -- Pa*læ`ti*o*log"ic*al adjective