put two and two together


a cardinal number, 1 plus 1.
a symbol for this number, as 2 or II.
a set of this many persons or things.
a playing card, die face, or half of a domino face with two pips.
amounting to two in number.
in two, into two separate parts, as halves: A bolt of lightning split the tree in two.
put two and two together, to draw a correct conclusion from the given circumstances; infer: It didn't require a great mind to put two and two together.

before 900; Middle English; Old English twā (feminine and neuter; cf. twain); cognate with German zwei; compare Latin duo, Greek dýo

to, too, two.
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World English Dictionary
two (tuː)
1.  See also number the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one. It is a prime number
2.  a numeral, 2, II, (ii), etc, representing this number
3.  music the numeral 2 used as the lower figure in a time signature, indicating that the beat is measured in minims
4.  something representing, represented by, or consisting of two units, such as a playing card with two symbols on it
5.  Also called: two o'clock two hours after noon or midnight
6.  in two in or into two parts: break the bread in two
7.  put two and two together to make an inference from available evidence, esp an obvious inference
8.  that makes two of us the same applies to me
9.  a.  amounting to two: two nails
 b.  (as pronoun): he bought two
Related: binary, double, dual, di-, bi-
[Old English twā (feminine); related to Old High German zwā, Old Norse tvau, Latin, Greek duo]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. twa, fem. and neut. form of twegen "two" (see twain), from P.Gmc. *twai (cf. O.S., O.Fris. twene, twa, O.N. tveir, tvau, Du. twee, O.H.G. zwene, zwo, Ger. zwei, Goth. twai), from PIE *duwo (cf. Skt. dvau, Avestan dva, Gk. duo, L. duo, O.Welsh dou, Lith. dvi, O.C.S. duva,
first element in Hittite ta-ugash "two years old"). Twofold is O.E. tweofeald. Dance style two-step is recorded from 1900. Twofer is first recorded 1911 (originally in ref. to cigars), from two for (a dollar, etc.). Two-faced "deceitful" first recorded 1619. Two cheers for _____, expressing qualified enthusiasm first recorded 1951 in E.M. Forster's title "Two Cheers for Democracy." Two-dimensional is recorded from 1883; fig. sense of "lacking substance or depth" is attested from 1934.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

put two and two together

Draw the proper inference from existing evidence, as in Putting two and two together, it's not hard to guess who will be chosen for the lead role in the play. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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