\ˈpās \

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

3a : step sense 2a(1)

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; ˈpä-(ˌ)chā, -(ˌ)kā \

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 & Antonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

advance, come, come along, do, fare, forge, get along, get on, go, go along, go off, march, proceed, progress

Antonyms: Verb

remain, stand, stay, stop

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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

The good news is that after years of builders and developers focusing on the high-end market, construction on smaller single-family homes and manufactured housing continues to rise at a rapid pace. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "U.S. housing market continues rebound, despite increased inequality, says Harvard report," 19 June 2018 For example, distance running at a slow pace may increase a person’s percentage of slow-twitch fibers. Teal Burrell, Discover Magazine, "Human Speed," 15 June 2018 Time has passed at a painfully slow pace for the 50-year-old chauffeur, who moved to London from Portugal. Sarah Tilotta, CNN, "'I am broken': A year on and still no justice for Grenfell fire victims," 13 June 2018 The Orioles entered Saturday on pace to win just 44 games, which would be 10 fewer than any other team since the franchise began playing in Baltimore. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: During season on the brink, Orioles are losing the head games, too," 14 July 2018 As Small’s round concluded Friday, Hardy and Meyer were on pace to make the cut at the John Deere Classic in Silvis. Steve Reaven,, "No Small feat: Illinois men's golf coach contending at Senior Players at Exmoor," 13 July 2018 Analysts suggest Apple's investment in original content will be on-pace with Netflix and Amazon in the next few years, and who even knows what Facebook and YouTube will do in that time. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "With 112 Emmy Nominations, Netflix Officially Rules Television," 12 July 2018 The United States is on pace to leapfrog both Saudi Arabia and Russia and reclaim the title of the world's biggest oil producer for the first time since the 1970s. David Koenig, The Christian Science Monitor, "US expected to surpass Saudi Arabia, Russia as world's top oil producer," 12 July 2018 The aftermath is the most productive offense in franchise history, with this year’s club on pace to score more often than any of its predecessors. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity, "As transfer window opens, Sporting KC sets sights on striker," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their offense is paced by third baseman Jonathan India, a likely top-10 draft pick whose .723 slugging percentage was good for sixth in the nation. Eric Single,, "Everything You Must Know About the NCAA Baseball Tournament Regionals," 31 May 2018 Meanwhile, Yale is paced offensively by senior attackman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Ben Reeves (56 goals, 46 assists). Edward Lee,, "NCAA Division I tournament semifinal preview: Yale vs. Albany," 25 May 2018 The team, coached by Villa, was paced by division player of the year Cosette Balmy, as well as Claire Borot, Caitlyn Couch and Dalila Rincan. Jeff Tully,, "Tully Talk: Recalling fond memories of Bell-Jeff," 23 May 2018 What was once often a three-hour show, now clocks in at a swiftly paced two-and-a-half hours. Theodore P. Mahne,, "'Phantom of the Opera' revisits Saenger with fresh new production that maintains the magic," 19 Mar. 2018 France yielded only two goals on its way to the ’98 title, anchored by a defense led by Thuram and the rock-solid Marcel Desailly, and a no-nonsense midfield paced by Deschamps and Christian Karembeu. Brian Straus,, "Le Bleuprint: France Follows Familiar World Cup Path in Reaching Final," 10 July 2018 Killingly was paced by Nolan Marcoux’s 76 at Tallwood CC in Hebron. Sean Begin,, "High School Golf: Greenwich Wins Division I Title, Ends Repeat Bid By Xavier," 4 June 2018 Returns: Nine starters, including all six on offense paced by junior attackman John Wagner (30 G, 9 A) and freshman attackman Anthony Orsini (16 G, 7 A). Edward Lee,, "Premature men’s lacrosse rankings for 2019, Part 3," 31 May 2018 Concord-Carlisle is paced by senior Payton Vaughn (35 goals), who has played the majority of the season minus her sister, Fallon, a sophomore who has been sidelined with an injury. Ryan Hathaway,, "Their mind-set for scoring? Create then finish," 24 May 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


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


see pace entry 1


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

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Statistics for pace

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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