Definition of pair-bond in US English:



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  • (of an animal or person) form a close relationship through courtship and sexual activity with one other animal or person.

    ‘only 3 percent of all animal species pair-bond’
    • ‘Birds are much more likely than other animals to pair-bond.’
    • ‘They display classic pair-bonding behavior - entwining of necks, mutual preening, flipper flapping, and the rest.’
    • ‘For some bird species pair-bonding lasts a lifetime.’
    • ‘The dance ritual of the male and female during courtship and pair-bonding is one of the most entertaining spectacles in the world of birds.’
    • ‘For females in pair-bonding species (such as swans, which mate for life, or monogamous South American monkeys), competency at fatherhood is a potential mate's most desirable quality.’


  • A relationship so formed.

    • ‘Three pair bonds dissolved because both partners died, one because the female died, three because the male died, and two pairs split although both partners survived and returned.’
    • ‘Pairs will sing in duets to defend territories and strengthen the pair-bond.’
    • ‘Pairs of breeding forest-falcons sing duets before sunrise, a behavior that presumably functions to advertise their occupation of a territory, and perhaps to strengthen the pair bond.’
    • ‘Yellow Warblers are primarily monogamous and form pair bonds soon after females arrive on the breeding grounds (about ten days behind males).’
    • ‘Female gray wolves choose their mates and often form a life-long pair bond.’
    • ‘Guans appear to be monogamous and the pair bond lasts over many breeding seasons.’
    • ‘The monogamous pair bond may hold throughout the year and extend into multiple nesting seasons.’
    • ‘In this species, long-tailed males are preferred by females both to form a pair bond and to engage in extrapair copulations.’
    • ‘Short-tailed Albatrosses engage in elaborate courtship dances and tend to maintain long-term pair bonds.’
    • ‘Shovelers are the most territorial of all the North American dabblers, and pair bonds remain intact through incubation, unlike most other species of ducks.’
    • ‘They make dramatic, acrobatic display flights to solidify the pair bond and to defend their territories.’
    • ‘Owing to the strong territoriality and apparent site-fidelity of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, that seems a likely mechanism generating long-term pair-bonds in this species, rather than a direct choice of partner.’
    • ‘The pair bond lasts for the duration of the nesting season, but birds do not appear to re-pair with the same mates the following year.’
    • ‘Establishing a pair bond is a prerequisite for acquiring and defending a nesting territory.’
    • ‘This species is interesting because they are socially monogamous - that is, an adult male and female form a lifelong pair bond.’
    • ‘We studied territory acquisition and the stability of pair bonds by conducting removal experiments and tracking a colorbanded population of dusky antbirds.’
    • ‘In most bird species, individuals form long-term, monogamous pair-bonds.’
    • ‘After a pair has secured a territory and formed a tight pair bond, they will mate.’
    • ‘In this time interval we could observe the stability of the pair bond.’
    • ‘There are a pair of female wattled cranes living in the wild in the Free State who have been together for the past 10 years and have formed a very strong pair bond.’