3. Same as To pair off. See phrase below. To pair off, to separate from a company in pairs or couples; specif., to agree with one of the opposite party or opinion to abstain from voting on specified questions or issues. See Pair.
Origin: Paired; Pairing.
Origin: Now mostly or quite disused, except as to stairs] "Two crowns in my pocket, two pair of cards." (Beau. & Fl)
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.
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." . "That great pair royal of adamantine sisters [the Fates]" . [Written corruptly parial and prial.
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."
Origin: F. Paire, LL. Paria, L. Paria, pl. Of par pair, fr. Par, adj, equal. Cf. Apparel, Par equality, Peer an equal.
(01 Mar 1998)
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