\ 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 pace Time
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 off paced 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

file, march, parade, stride

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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


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.


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

Houston's economy continued to expand in May, but at a slower pace, according to a survey of supply chain executives on manufacturing activity. Erin Douglas, Houston Chronicle, "Manufacturing sector continues to slow its pace in Houston: survey," 10 June 2019 The extraordinary speed of its boom is forcing companies to come up with new products and services that fit what the second half wants at a breakneck pace. The Economist, "How the world’s poor are discovering leisure online," 8 June 2019 Together, these functions enable the same vehicle to excel at high speeds, on the road, or traverse serious off-road obstacles at a crawling pace. Matthew Scott, Outside Online, "The New Defender Will Not Be Like the Old One," 7 June 2019 People on strike would be counted as unemployed and North Carolina teachers went on strike in May. Then there’s the low pay that has sent teachers quitting at a record pace. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "3 Sectors Took a Nosedive in Latest Jobs Report," 7 June 2019 So much so that Downtown's apartment development has grown at a faster pace than demand. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "More luxury apartments drive up Downtown Indianapolis vacancy rate, but rents remain steep," 6 June 2019 The voting period began at a thundering pace last week, with just under 13,000 people showing up on the first day. Dylan Mcguinness,, "High turnout marks early voting in San Antonio’s municipal runoffs," 5 June 2019 It all moves along at a snappy enough pace, but sometimes feels more facile than insightful. New York Times, "‘Late Night’ Review: Emma Thompson Takes On the Old Boys of Network TV," 5 June 2019 Bellinger is the best hitter in baseball right now, hitting at a Triple Crown-threat pace. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers drafting Riley Greene the right move: He's 'Cody Bellinger-esque'," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Reno’s Kevin Cron leads the PCL with 1.237 OPS and Round Rock’s Yordan Alvarez is pacing the circuit with 22 homers, eight more than Urias’ career-high total through 44 games. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Luis Urias finishes homer shy of cycle in El Paso win," 7 June 2019 As Toronto built a 14-point, first-half lead, Thompson went from quietly standing behind timeout huddles to anxiously pacing. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors’ Klay Thompson ready, eager to return to action in Game 4," 6 June 2019 Hudson, a 6-6 shooting guard who transferred to UF from Virginia Tech following the 2016 season, averaged a team-high 15.5 points last season and paced the Gators with 78 three-pointers. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "Here's why Florida basketball's top scorer is returning to school for one more year," 29 May 2018 McAfee, the fourth-grade teacher, manages her stress by pacing the classroom during lessons; many of Ohio Avenue’s teachers snack on Hot Tamales candy, claiming that the cinnamon helps them calm down. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Atlantic, "One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior," 8 May 2018 Softball Joliet Catholic 5-6, Marian Central 1-1: Jen Krizka’s homer and thee RBIs paced JCA (16-6, 7-2 ESCC) in Game 1. Steve Millar, Daily Southtown, "Local roundup: Jacqueline Aleman goes all-in as Lemont tops Downers North in girls soccer," 6 May 2018 Saturday is a slower-paced, family-friendly opportunity to stroll among the work. Birmingham Magazine,, "A guide to how to choose art for your home," 24 Apr. 2018 But then Elvira’s ghost appears to Charles and begins instigating all kinds of trouble in a superficial romp that is beautifully paced to play’s end. Patti Restivo, Howard County Times, "Spirited comedy, courtesy of APL scientists," 19 Apr. 2018 Sophomore guard Morgan Frank paced Mundelein (11-20) with 15. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "Table setter: Warren's Camille Cuevas contributes crisp passing, strong defense," 14 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for pace

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pace

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

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More Definitions for pace



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pace

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pace

Spanish Central: Translation of pace

Nglish: Translation of pace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pace for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pace

What made you want to look up pace? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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