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à deux, adv.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from French. Etymon: French à deux.
Etymology: < French à deux for two, between two < à   to + deux   two (see deuce n.1).

  For, or involving, two people; as a couple.

1858   Thackeray Virginians II. xxxii. 261   They came good naturally à deux to form an opinion of my poor tragedy.
1876   J. Stainer & W. A. Barrett Dict. Musical Terms 18/2   A deux, for two voices or instruments.
1886   R. Broughton Dr. Cupid II. iv. 85   Some keen happiness à deux; some two happy souls together blent.
1900   H. G. Wells Love & Mr. Lewisham vi. 55   A splendid isolation à deux.
1911   M. Beerbohm Zuleika Dobson x. 170   The young man..at once thrifty and infatuate, had planned a luncheon à deux.
1963   Listener 24 Jan. 157/2   Strindberg regards marriage as a ghastly solitary confinement à deux.
1995   Today 27 July 7/1   Ecstatically planning, perhaps, romantic dinners a deux for Charles and herself.
2003   New Yorker 2 June 14/1   [American Ballet Theater's] extravagant characterful pairs get to show off the chemistry and grace they can achieve à deux.

1858—2003(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2011).

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