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[twin] /twɪn/
either of two children or animals brought forth at a birth.
either of two persons or things closely related to or closely resembling each other.
Also called twin room. a type of hotel accommodation with twin beds, for occupancy by two persons.
Compare double (def 13).
Also called hemitrope. Crystallography. a compound crystal consisting of two or more parts or crystals definitely oriented each to the other; macle.
Twins, Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Gemini.
being a twin or twins:
twin sisters.
being two persons or things closely related to or closely resembling each other.
being one of a pair; identical:
a twin bracelet; a twin peak.
consisting of two similar parts or elements joined or connected:
a twin vase.
Botany, Zoology. occurring in pairs; didymous.
Crystallography. of the nature of a twin; hemitrope.
twofold or double.
verb (used with object), twinned, twinning.
to bring together in close relationship; pair; couple.
to furnish a counterpart to or a replica of; match.
Informal. to divide or convert into two, parts, similar items, etc.:
The old movie palace will be twinned, making two smaller theaters.
Informal. to link or combine with:
The new grocery store is twinned with a restaurant.
Crystallography. to form into a twin.
Obsolete. to give birth to as twins.
verb (used without object), twinned, twinning.
to give birth to twins.
to be paired or coupled.
Origin of twin1
before 900; Middle English; Old English twinn (adj.), getwinn (noun and adj.); akin to Old Frisian twīne, Old Norse tvinnr double, Gothic twaihnai
Can be confused
twain, twin, twine.


[twin] /twɪn/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), twinned, twinning. Scot.
twine2 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for twin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But Laddie felt he was too big, and Vi didn't want to do anything her twin brother didn't do; especially crying.

  • They are twin plants of the forest, and are identified with its growth.

    Maid Marian Thomas Love Peacock
  • The man who is ostentatious of his modesty is twin to the statue that wears a fig-leaf.

    Following the Equator, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • That I had but eyes, to look upon these twin invaders of domestic peace!'

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • Its twin spire-crowned western towers will be improved when the masses of masonry now propping them are removed.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
British Dictionary definitions for twin


  1. either of two persons or animals conceived at the same time
  2. (as modifier): a twin brother See also identical (sense 3), fraternal (sense 3)
  1. either of two persons or things that are identical or very similar; counterpart
  2. (as modifier): twin carburettors
Also called macle. a crystal consisting of two parts each of which has a definite orientation to the other
verb twins, twinning, twinned
to pair or be paired together; couple
(intransitive) to bear twins
(intransitive) (of a crystal) to form into a twin
(intransitive) (archaic) to be born as a twin
  1. to create a reciprocal relation between (two towns in different countries); pair (a town) with another in a different country
  2. (intransitive) (of a town) to be paired with a town in a different country
Derived Forms
twinning, noun
Word Origin
Old English twinn; related to Old High German zwiniling twin, Old Norse tvinnr double
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for twin

Old English twinn "consisting of two, twofold, double," probably ultimately from Proto-Germanic *twinjaz (cf. Old Norse tvinnr, Old Danish tvinling, Dutch tweeling, German zwillung), from PIE *dwisno- (cf. Latin bini "two each," Lithuanian dvynu "twins"), from *dwi- "double," from root *dwo- "two" (see two). The verb meaning "to combine two things closely" is recorded from late 14c. The noun developed from Old English getwinn "double."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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twin in Medicine

twin (twĭn)
One of two offspring born at the same birth. adj.

  1. Being two or one of two offspring born at the same birth.

  2. Consisting of two identical or similar parts; double.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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twin in Science
  1. One of two offspring born of a single gestation. Identical twins result from the division of a fertilized egg. Fraternal twins result from the fertilization of two separate eggs at the same time.

  2. A crystal structure consisting of two intergrown crystals that are mirror images of each other. Mineral twins can form as result of defective crystal growth in response to stress from rock deformation or during magma cooling.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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