\ ˈpās How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : rate of movement the runner's pace especially : an established rate of locomotion
b : rate of progress specifically : parallel rate of growth or development supplies kept pace with demand
c : an example to be emulated specifically : first place in a competition three strokes off the paceTime
d(1) : rate of performance or delivery : tempo a steady pace on pace to set a record especially : speed serves with great pace a pace bowler in cricket
(2) : rhythmic animation : fluency writes with color, with zest, and with pace— Amy Loveman
2 : a manner of walking : tread … walked slowly, with even, unhesitating pace— Willa Cather
b : any of various units of distance based on the length of a human step
4a paces plural : an exhibition or test of skills or capacities the trainer put the tiger through its paces
b : gait especially : a fast 2-beat gait (as of the horse) in which the legs move in lateral pairs and support the animal alternately on the right and left legs


paced; pacing

Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to walk with often slow or measured tread
b : to move along : proceed
2 : to go at a pace used especially of a horse

transitive verb

1a : to measure by pacing often used with offpaced off a 10-yard penalty
b : to cover at a walk could hear him pacing the floor
2 : to cover (a course) by pacing used of a horse
3a : to set or regulate the pace of taught them how to pace their solos for … impact— Richard Goldstein also : to establish a moderate or steady pace for (oneself)
b(1) : to go before : precede
(2) : to set an example for : lead
c : to keep pace with
pa·​ce | \ ˈpā-(ˌ)sē How to pronounce pace (audio) ; ˈpä-(ˌ)chā, -(ˌ)kā How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Definition of pace (Entry 3 of 3)

: contrary to the opinion of usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion Easiness is a virtue in grammar, pace old-fashioned grammarians …— Philip Howard usually italics

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Synonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

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Did You Know?


Though used in English for nearly 150 years, the preposition pace has yet to shed its Latin mantle, and for that reason it's most at home in formal writing or in contexts in which one is playing at formality. The Latin word pace is a form of pax, meaning "peace" or "permission," and when used sincerely the word does indeed suggest a desire for both. This Latin borrowing is unrelated to the more common noun pace (as in "keeping pace") and its related verb ("pacing the room"); these also come from Latin, but from the word pandere, meaning "to spread."

Examples of pace in a Sentence

Noun We walked at a leisurely pace along the shore. The pace of the story was slow. His new album is selling at a blistering pace. Verb When she gets nervous she paces back and forth. He was pacing and muttering to himself. She paced the other runners for the first half of the race. Advertisements are paced so that they are shown more often during peak sales seasons.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That isn’t to say the move isn’t a meaningful marker of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s brisk pace in creating momentum for Fannie and Freddie’s potential recapitalization and release to public markets. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Small Step for Fannie and Freddie, a Leap for Houlihan," 4 Feb. 2020 Mayde Creek is not far off the pace at 3-5, rebounding from its two-point loss to Katy with a 71-64 victory against Taylor. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Katy keeps pace with 19-6A basketball leaders," 3 Feb. 2020 Negotiations will need to proceed at break-neck pace if a deal is to be secured before the transition period expires. Charles Riley, CNN, "Brexit just happened. Britain and the EU are already arguing about what comes next," 3 Feb. 2020 According to major league sources, the deliberate pace to negotiations reflects a few elements. Alex Speier,, "Mookie Betts deal seemed imminent, but the waiting game continues," 3 Feb. 2020 Pathogens do not rampage like malevolent armies on the march, causing damage in direct relation to the scale and pace of their spread. Time, "The Pandemic of Xenophobia and Scapegoating," 3 Feb. 2020 That would, in turn, reduce global economic growth for the year by 0.2 percent, to an annual rate of 2.3 percent — the slowest pace since the global financial crisis a decade ago. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "SARS Stung the Global Economy. The Coronavirus Is a Greater Menace.," 3 Feb. 2020 Shane Adamski scored 15 points to pace Wickliffe, which shot 31-of-56 from the free-throw line. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Luke Chicone’s 3 at the buzzer avenges No. 8 Mentor in rematch vs. No. 6 Medina: Friday’s boys basketball scoreboard," 1 Feb. 2020 The product on the field has improved in recent years thanks to a surge of exciting new talent like quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, as well as a faster pace of play that has resulted in record-high scoring totals. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "In the age of streaming, the NFL is the last refuge for traditional TV," 30 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The fuzziness of tone, genre and pacing come from the comic as well, so maybe with these hints of potential and more narrative freedom — most of the comic run has been covered — a second season might prove more consistent? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Locke & Key': TV Review," 4 Feb. 2020 The streaking Grizzlies were paced by Dillon Brooks, who scored 26 points. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Tristan Thompson ejected, Cleveland Cavaliers lose heated game against Memphis Grizzlies 113-109," 18 Jan. 2020 Trevin Johnson paced the Holy Family rushing attack by accumulating 88 yards in the game, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Hero Sports, The Denver Post, "Frederick beats Holy Family, 52-21," 17 Dec. 2019 Pepperdine was paced by forward Kessler Edwards’ 21 points. Brian Murphy,, "Ceasar DeJesus leads UCF basketball to win over Pepperdine," 30 Nov. 2019 That was paced by 170 from Elijah Collins and a career-best 96 from Brian Lewerke. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Here's how Michigan State football can beat Michigan on Saturday," 15 Nov. 2019 The Friars, in their third trip to state, were paced by Maggie O’Malley (34th, 18:11.71) and Maria Quinn (38th, 18:14.88). Bob Narang,, "Cross country state notes: Hinsdale Central girls, York boys claim 3rd at 3A meet," 10 Nov. 2019 The Mustangs are paced by running back Tyrikk Lawson, who rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a touchdown against Arcadia. Charles Rich, Glendale News-Press, "Weekly Football Previews: Prep vs. Milken; CV vs. Muir; St. Francis vs. Salesian; Glendale vs. Pasadena," 22 Oct. 2019 Mansfield 55, Stoughton 41 — Juniors Ashley Santos and Kayla Vine each scored 14 points to pace the Hornets (4-8). Greg Levinsky,, "Fenway girls’ basketball storms to victory over New Mission," 21 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pace


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1522, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1863, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pace

Noun and Verb

Middle English pas, from Anglo-French, stride, step, from Latin passus, from pandere to spread — more at fathom


Latin, ablative of pac-, pax peace, permission — more at pact

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Time Traveler for pace

Time Traveler

The first known use of pace was in the 14th century

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Statistics for pace

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for pace


How to pronounce pace (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the speed at which someone or something moves
: the speed at which something happens
: a single step or the length of a single step



English Language Learners Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to walk back and forth across the same space again and again especially because you are nervous
: to control or set the speed of (someone or something)


\ ˈpās How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Kids Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the speed of moving forward or ahead
2 : the speed at which something is done or happens The pace of production needs to increase.
3 : a horse's gait in which the legs on the same side move at the same time
4 : a single step or its length


paced; pacing

Kids Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to walk back and forth across The nervous man began pacing the floor.
2 : to walk with slow steps
3 : to measure by steps We paced off the length of the garden.
4 : to set or regulate the speed at which something is done or happens You have to pace yourself when exercising.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pace

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pace

Spanish Central: Translation of pace

Nglish: Translation of pace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pace for Arabic Speakers

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