Definition of duo in US English:


nounPlural duos

  • 1A pair of people or things, especially in music or entertainment.

    ‘the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy’
    • ‘Yet I have found interest in individual guitar family instruments for use in guitar duos, or chamber music ensembles.’
    • ‘The duo hope the new night will become a focus for music talent in Upper Eden.’
    • ‘Football enjoys a venerable tradition of spawning double acts, duos who follow each other around from club to club, and whose combined worth adds up to much more than the sum of individual strengths.’
    • ‘Alan sings in pubs, loves karaoke and used to travel the UK in a comedy duo with his nephew.’
    • ‘While touring Australia Andy encountered both these duos and decided their music needed to be heard outside of their homeland.’
    • ‘One of the most successful folk duos in the UK, they will entertain with an evening of music and tales featuring traditional songs together with dance tunes from the Shetland, Orkney and the Hebridean isles.’
    • ‘I looked at a lot of comedy duos through the years.’
    • ‘They could probably make it as a comedy duo if the music career falters.’
    • ‘The duo matched each other game for game in the second set and it was no surprise that it was decided in another tie-break.’
    • ‘The pair play private gigs as a duo and coach the Accrington St John Ambulance Bagpipe band.’
    • ‘The duo used to enter those houses whose doors were open and pick up mobile phones.’
    • ‘The festival spills out into the auditorium with music from duos and trios.’
    • ‘Saturday night at the Provincial Museum Auditorium, a duo of duos will light it.’
    • ‘The comedy duo have infiltrated the building and even managed to acquire their own office.’
    • ‘With another victory, the duo will match their record of having won four times at the same venue.’
    • ‘This makes the duo's music sound very different to that of virtually any improvising group in existence.’
    • ‘Certainly, these two have to be considered among the best comedy duos in the annals of TV history.’
    • ‘But the duo deserve praise for the eloquent and entertaining way they have gone about their task.’
    • ‘Although music is a serious business for the duo, mention of sex glorifies rather than trivialises it.’
    • ‘City have still to taste defeat when the experienced duo are paired together.’
    pair, duology, twosome, set of two, match
    View synonyms
  • 2Music
    A duet.

    ‘he wrote two duos for violin and viola’
    • ‘Like most composers of duos - Ravel, Martin, and Honegger among them - Hawkins makes it sound as if more instruments get into the act than actually do.’
    • ‘You see, when you have duos for violin and piano, clarinet and piano, or even a string quartet, there is usually one person who has the final decision.’
    • ‘Contrary to popular belief his op. 5 sonatas are not solo works but duos for violin and violone, which, like the opp. 2 and 4 dance suites, require no keyboard accompaniment.’
    • ‘First, the selection of music brings little-known pieces to our attention: a Bach sonata, and duos and trios of 17th and 18th century origin.’
    • ‘We hope to have a go at the Beethoven clarinet/bassoon duos next week-end, operational exigencies permitting, of course!’


Late 16th century (in duo (sense 2)): via Italian from Latin duo ‘two’.