AskDefine | Define twain

Dictionary Definition

twain n : two items of the same kind [syn: couple, pair, twosome, brace, span, yoke, couplet, distich, duo, duet, dyad, duad]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From Middle English tweien, twaine. From Old English twgen (twēġen?) (meaning "two") from P.Gmc. *twa- (see two). See dwo- in Indo-European roots.
The word outlasted the breakdown of gender in Middle English and survived as a secondary form of "two", then especially in the cases where the numeral follows a noun. Its continuation into modern times was aided by it's use in KJV, and the Marriage Service, in poetry (where it's commonly used as a rhyme word), and in oral use where it is necessary to be clear that two and not "to" or "too" is meant.

Pronunciation

/tweɪn/

Cardinal number

twain
  1. two
    But the warm twilight round us twain will never rise again.

Quotations

  • Matthew 5:41.
    And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
  • Chaucer, Knight's Tale ln. 1632.
    Til that the deeth departe shal us tweyne.
  • Kipling
    And never the twain shall meet.

Derived terms

See also

Extensive Definition

Twain may refer to:
twain in German: Twain
twain in Polish: Twain
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