twain n : two items of the same kind [syn: couple, pair, twosome, brace, span, yoke, couplet, distich, duo, duet, dyad, duad]
EtymologyFrom 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.
- Rhymes: -eɪn
- But the warm twilight round us twain will never rise again.