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To form or become part of a pair. A noun or pronoun can come between "pair" and "off" if the verb is used transitively. OK, everyone pair off and come up with different ways you could apply what we talked about today to your work. We'll have to pair off the guests who didn't come with dates.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[for two people or other creatures] to form a couple or pair. All of them paired off and worked as teams to solve the puzzle. Everyone should pair off and discuss the issue for a while.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Put two persons together; also, become one of a couple, as in Jean mentally paired off her guests whenever she planned a party, or All the tennis players had to pair off for a round of doubles matches. [Late 1600s]
2. Also, pair up. Make a pair of, match, as in I always have trouble pairing up their socks. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To arrange some things or people in groups of two: The drama coach paired off the students to rehearse scenes. The organizer paired the partygoers off and sent them on a treasure hunt.
2. To form pairs: The dance students paired off and practiced waltzing.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.