Middle English Dictionary Entry

paire n.(1)
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Two, a set of two, a pair; -- often sg. with pl. meaning: (a) of garments for the hands, feet, etc.; of armor for the arms, etc.; ~ of boteus (spores), ~ (of) hosen (shoes), ~ brace (gloves, gussetes); etc.; ~ plates (briganders), a two-piece set of body armor; also with sg. noun: ~ glove, ~ de vaumbrace; (b) of a single garment; a ~ brech of maille, that part of a suit of mail which covers the loins and thighs; (c) of sets of household goods and furnishings: sheets, blankets, fireplace equipment, vessels, chests, etc.; ~ candelstikkes (eueres, fustianes, shetes, trestles, etc.); ~ of aundirenes (blanketes, gardeviauntes, rakes, etc.); (d) of people, animals, parts of the body, apparatus, etc.; ~ feters (freres, oxen, etc.); ~ of cartwhels (des, legges, sineues, etc.); (e) a sexual pair, a couple; (f) with noun omitted or implied; to ~, as a pair, making a pair.
Used with a plural noun to denote a single bifurcated tool or other two-part device: ~ (of) cisours (sheres, etc.).
(a) A set or suit (of clothes or vestments); -- also sg. with pl. meaning; in ~, in sets; (b) a set of identical or similar objects; ~ (of, de) bedes, a rosary; ~ endenture(s, ~ of endentes (endentures), a set of identical copies of an endenture; ~ greses, a flight of stairs; ~ (of) knives; (c) of devices, mechanical contrivances, musical instruments: a set; ~ (of) galwes, a gallows; ~ (of) organs [see organ(e n. 2. (a)]; ~ (of) tables, a writing-tablet; also, a chessboard.
(a) Expressing a mere multiple: some, a few; (b) used as a rhetorical multiplier to express a large number.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • (1411) in Rec.B.Nottingham 284 : j pari steropps, j d.
  • Note: New spelling
    Note: spelling 'pari' perh. an error, but could be from ML paria per REL