Definition of two by two (or two and two) in US English:

two by two (or two and two)


  • Side by side in pairs.

    • ‘The rest of the team came swinging in, two by two.’
    • ‘I lifted the garage door and they filed in two by two.’
    • ‘When the tolling of the bell ceases, the monks file in two by two.’
    • ‘They marched out in regular formation, peeling off two by two at each main street to patrol their beats on foot.’
    • ‘However, Wednesday saw their triumphant return as staff and pupils walked happily two by two, in a symbolic gesture, back through the school gates.’
    • ‘A couple of hundred protestors set off down the sidewalk, two by two, like a procession of obedient school-children on a class trip, attracting jeers from young anarchists as they passed.’
    • ‘The last day arrives too quickly and departing guests are whisked to the airport, two by two, like animals heading for the Ark.’
    • ‘And then there were the 40 or 50 lesser nuns following behind her, two by two, just like a parade of schoolchildren on a daytrip.’
    • ‘Each of us had bought in the bazaar a tray of offerings for the deities within, and these we now clutched as, two by two, we were admitted into the interior.’
    • ‘The group didn't have a permit but had negotiated an agreement with the police to walk on the sidewalk, two by two.’