Old English twegen "two" (masc. nominative and accusative), from Proto-Germanic *twa- "two," from PIE root *dwo- "two." It corresponds to Old Frisian twene, Dutch twee, Old High German zwene, Danish tvende. The word outlasted the breakdown of gender in Middle English and survived as a secondary form of two, especially in cases where the numeral follows a noun. Its continuation into modern times was aided by its use in KJV and the Marriage Service, in poetry (where it is a useful rhyme word), and in oral use where it is necessary to be clear that two and not to or too is meant. In U.S. nautical use as "a depth of two fathoms" from 1799.
masc. proper name, variant of Marcus (q.v.). Among the top 10 names given to boy babies born in the U.S. between 1955 and 1970.
Mark Twain is the pseudonym of American writer and humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), who had been a riverboat pilot; he took his pen name from the cry mark twain, the call indicating a depth of two fathoms, from mark (n.1) in a specialized sense of "measured notification (a piece of knotted cloth, etc.) on a lead-line indicating fathoms of depth" (1769) + twain.
"1 more than one, the number which is one more than one; a symbol representing this number;" Old English twa "two," fem. and neuter form of twegen "two" (see twain), from Proto-Germanic *twa (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian twene, twa, Old Norse tveir, tvau, Dutch twee, Old High German zwene, zwo, German zwei, Gothic twai), from PIE *duwo, variant of root *dwo- "two."
Two-fisted is from 1774. Two cheers for _____, expressing qualified enthusiasm first recorded 1951 in E.M. Forster's title "Two Cheers for Democracy." Two-dimensional is recorded from 1883; figurative sense of "lacking substance or depth" is attested from 1934.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "two."
It forms all or part of: anadiplosis; balance; barouche; between; betwixt; bezel; bi-; binary; bis-; biscuit; combination; combine; deuce; deuterium; Deuteronomy; di- (1) "two, double, twice;" dia-; dichotomy; digraph; dimity; diode; diphthong; diploid; diploma; diplomacy; diplomat; diplomatic; diplodocus; double; doublet; doubloon; doubt; dozen; dual; dubious; duet; duo; duodecimal; duplex; duplicate; duplicity; dyad; epididymis; hendiadys; pinochle; praseodymium; redoubtable; twain; twelfth; twelve; twenty; twi-; twice; twig; twilight; twill; twin; twine; twist; 'twixt; two; twofold; zwieback.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dvau, Avestan dva, Greek duo, Latin duo, Old Welsh dou, Lithuanian dvi, Old Church Slavonic duva, Old English twa, twegen, German zwei, Gothic twai "two;" first element in Hittite ta-ugash "two years old."
type of wrestling hold, 1875, apparently from a proper or surname, but no one now knows whose.
Presently, Stubbs, the more skilful as well as the more powerful of the twain, seizes the luckless Jumper in a terrible gripe, known to the initiated as the Full Nelson. ["Lancashire Recreations," in Chambers's Journal, April 24, 1875]
1856, American English slang, "money, cash," of unknown origin, said to be from Greek spondylikos, from spondylos, a seashell used as currency (the Greek word means literally "vertebra"). "[U]sed by Mark Twain and by O. Henry and since then adopted into British English" [Barnhart], where it survived after having faded in the U.S.