Definition of dual in English:



  • 1attributive Consisting of two parts, elements, or aspects.

    ‘their dual role at work and home’
    ‘dual-language texts in English and Italian’
    • ‘A word must be said about the office of coroner, which too had something of a dual aspect.’
    • ‘I like the notion of a library as a treasure chest, since it operates as a dual metaphor.’
    • ‘Pavee's attacking sweeper played a dual role as a tough defender and made sleek wing attacks that resulted in major inroads into Big Players' defense.’
    • ‘From the beginning his relationship with her has got this dual element to it.’
    • ‘These critics also recognize the dual aspects of decolonization.’
    • ‘Gavin Hamilton and Gary Fellows have dual roles to play.’
    • ‘He wants to project that dual role.’
    • ‘You combine dual aspects by being ambitious professionally and domesticated in the home and family situations.’
    • ‘Inexperienced nurses usually remain in orientation for an average of five months - longer if they are expected to function in a dual role.’
    • ‘It was these dual aspects of perpetuity which were to assume such importance in America.’
    • ‘Foster parents should be willing to commute, be bilingual and have dual nationality.’
    • ‘Most commonly, acute stabilization of patients with dual disorders refers to the management of physical, psychiatric, or drug toxicity crises.’
    • ‘But Parkinson, a veteran of three title triumphs during the last two decades, has decided to step down altogether, leaving Lowe to perform a dual role this summer as Darwen prepare to defend their crown.’
    • ‘Rather, he wanted to imitate a different aspect of Moshe: his dual role.’
    • ‘Byrne said he was hugely impressed by the pupils' enthusiasm and by the various demonstrations and said he was being pragmatic and playing a dual role on the day in hoping to recruit new students for the college.’
    • ‘His current role as executive chairman effectively combines the functions of chief executive and chairman, a dual role which is now frowned upon by institutions.’
    • ‘Now, can I turn to their arguments and address what seem to us to be their dual aspect?’
    • ‘The interesting aspect of this dual soundtrack is that each one presents a noticeably different version of the film.’
    • ‘Hopefully, the elimination of the dual mandate will take care of that.’
    • ‘Funding dual language immersion programs and transportation programs that shuttle students between school districts can also promote school integration.’
    double, twofold, binary
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Grammar (in some languages) denoting an inflection that refers to exactly two people or things (as distinct from singular and plural).
      • ‘It has dual number, so nouns and verbs must be learned in singular, dual, and plural.’
      • ‘Languages with dual markers have a different plural affix for sets of two than the affix for sets greater than two.’
      • ‘Yimas proper distinguishes four numbers in its pronominal paradigm (singular, dual, paucal, and plural) while Yimas Pidgin has only three.’
    2. 1.2 (in an aircraft) using dual controls.
      ‘a dual flight’
      • ‘You might want to consider scheduling an annual dual flight with an experienced instructor to review downwind take-offs and landings.’
      • ‘It would show the reaction of non flyers being taken on dual flights in incredible scenery.’
      • ‘Anyway, on this particular day I was scheduled for my fourth hour of dual instruction.’
      • ‘They arranged to give him a couple more hours of dual instruction.’
      • ‘Schedule periodic dual flights when the crosswind exceeds your comfort level.’
  • 2often dual toMathematics
    (of a theorem, expression, etc.) related to another by the interchange of particular pairs of terms, such as ‘point’ and ‘line’.

    • ‘He had proved that compact abelian groups are dual to discrete abelian groups, and von Neumann was interested in extending this result.’

nounPlural duals

  • 1Grammar
    A dual form of a word.

    1. 1.1mass noun The dual number.
  • 2Mathematics
    A theorem, expression, etc., that is dual to another.

    • ‘Because of the demands of differentiability in distribution theory, the spaces of test-functions and their duals are somewhat more complicated.’
    • ‘In fact this theorem is simply the dual of Pascal's theorem which was proved in 1639.’

verbduals, dualling, dualled

[with object]British
  • Convert (a road) into a dual carriageway.

    ‘though there are no plans to dual the road, a public consultation on the A64 is set to start before the end of the year’
    • ‘Residents of Great Notley have called for it to be dualled to discourage through-traffic from using the old London Road route.’
    • ‘He added Bexley could not back plans for the new Thames bridge unless Thames Road was dualled.’
    • ‘AROUND £7 million may be spent improving the outer ring road, but dualling it is not an option.’
    • ‘Gridlocked York could be freed by dualling sections of the A1237 or by creating a new ring road relief route, the city's top councillor has said.’
    • ‘The disadvantages are said to be more traffic on all sections of the outer ring road, which might need to be dualled.’
    • ‘The answer is to double the capacity of the single carriageway, so the outer ring road is dualled all the way around.’
    • ‘It believes dualling the A40 will stimulate economic growth in the region, and that this will in turn benefit the rest of the country.’
    • ‘Last, but just as important, before York is totally congested by further development north and east of the city, the northern bypass must be dualled with flyovers and underpasses.’
    • ‘Firstly, that it will have an effect on the Rillington bypass if the road is fully dualled and that will be a further setback for the people of Rillington.’
    • ‘We have to grasp like a nettle the fact that the A64 needs to be dualled right through from York to Scarborough.’
    • ‘He added: ‘I am led to believe that, had the road been dualled, this accident could not have happened.’’
    • ‘The northern ring road has such a great blockage of its artery leading into the vortex at Clifton Moor, that only major surgery by way of dualling the roadways will cure it before there is paralysis of the limbs of the western area of the city.’
    • ‘Anger erupted at a public meeting last night when councillors heard Canvey Way might not be dualled as part of a major road improvements programme.’
    • ‘Campaigners will step up their fight to dual the A120 after reflecting on alarming new figures.’
    • ‘Our attention now moves to the compelling case for dualling the A64.’
    • ‘They also pointed out most of the site would be needed when the road is dualled.’
    • ‘Mr Greenway has the backing of the RAC, which supports dualling the road between York and Scarborough to avoid rising accidents and to boost the region's economy.’
    • ‘But the major issue on the lips of many motorists, that of dualling the road, is not being addressed by Highways Agency chiefs.’
    • ‘I personally have no doubt that if the road had been dualled, the recent tragedies there would not have happened.’
    • ‘I concluded, and the cabinet supported me, that a third access off Canvey was a better proposal than adopting the other request to dual Canvey Way.’


Late Middle English (as a noun denoting either of the two middle incisor teeth in each jaw): from Latin dualis, from duo ‘two’.