\ 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

Ideally located in the thriving South Valley, Eagle Ridge enjoys a slower pace of life that is still within commuting distance into Silicon Valley. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Thrive in the lifestyle of your dreams — soar to Eagle Ridge," 8 July 2019 But Rollins appears to be dropping cases at a faster pace than Conley, her predecessor. Shelley Murphy,, "Stopping injustice or putting the public at risk? Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins’s tactics spur pushback," 6 July 2019 All three major indexes fell from their records after new data showed U.S. employers hired at a robust pace in June, somewhat dashing investors’ expectations of an interest-rate cut at the Fed’s policy meeting later this month. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "Stocks Edge Lower as Jobs Report Clouds Expectations of a Rate Cut," 5 July 2019 The stream-of-conscious repartee can come rat-tat-tat-ing at a dizzying pace. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Desus Nice and Kid Mero bring their live act to Miami," 5 July 2019 Manchester United Women have confirmed the signing of Scotland international striker and former Manchester City star Jane Ross from West Ham as preparations for the club's first season in the top flight Women's Super League continue at pace., "Man Utd Women Confirm Signing of Experienced WSL Star Jane Ross From West Ham," 4 July 2019 On June 1st, Hickenlooper spoke to the annual convention of the California Democratic Party, in San Francisco, proceeding at a stately, teleprompter-friendly pace. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "John Hickenlooper’s War on Socialism," 1 July 2019 As a trade deadline acquisition, Zuccarello proved his worth, scoring at a near point-per-game pace in the playoffs for Dallas. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Wild bolster lineup with addition of Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Hartman," 1 July 2019 The biggest reason for the surplus is that tax collections are arriving at a faster pace than originally forecasted by the legislature and state officials. Christopher Keating,, "CT state budget surplus hits $700 million in good economic times," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Senior Greg Reaves paced the team with a career-best 89 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for a loss, while playing linebacker. Matt Murschel,, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 53 USF pushes to jump-start offense," 3 July 2019 Memphis May Fire vocalist Matty Mullins paced back and forth on stage with a smile while singing a mix of old and new songs, setting the tone for the night. Houston Chronicle, "Disrupt Festival brings high energy, emo back to Houston," 27 June 2019 Started all 37 games and paced Michigan in scoring (14.8 ppg). Sean Meagher | The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Oregon’s Louis King highlights Portland Trail Blazers’ final predraft workout," 16 June 2019 Of course Brint paced all over the joint Saturday morning. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "Portage Northern pitcher gives Dad best Father's Day present - a state title," 15 June 2019 In the Garden Room, a woman paced, muttering poetry. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "There Was No Limit to the Champagne, Caviar, and Lobster at Hermès’s Lavish Fete," 5 Apr. 2019 The team returns its top three receivers led by Jayden Reed, who earned all-conference honors after pacing the team in receiving yards (797) and return yards (333) as a freshman. Matt Murschel,, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 64 Western Michigan," 22 June 2019 After a rather harried opening, Opera Theatre of St. Louis music director Roberto Kalb effectively paced the June 14 performance. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Classic operas 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Rigoletto' round out the St. Louis festival," 18 June 2019 Anagram is a fast-paced, exciting and challenging game for anyone who loves playing with words. The Reader's Catalog, "Anagram Game," 17 June 2019

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

11 Jul 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

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