\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The dizzying pace of developments Sunday made an ignominious ending for the region’s longest-serving leader. Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests," 11 Nov. 2019 Last quarter's year-over-year top-line growth pace of 24% wasn't out of character for the company either. James Brumley, USA TODAY, "Is this the peak of Amazon? 3 reasons why growth might be hard to come by," 11 Nov. 2019 Some of our young guys just weren’t quite ready for the pace of that game and the physicality of that game. Don Markus,, "No. 7 Maryland overcomes 14 first-half turnovers to beat Rhode Island, 73-55, with balanced scoring," 10 Nov. 2019 The pace of the research frustrates Sheffield, an Alaska Sea Grant biologist who has worked in the northern part of the state for more than a quarter century. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, "Why are birds and seals starving in a Bering Sea full of fish?," 10 Nov. 2019 Under Bloom, that pace is almost certain to increase in Boston, regardless of whether the Red Sox keep or trade Betts this winter., "“But he was quick to acknowledge that there’s been some good trades and some bad trades. He lamented, not a trade, but D.J. LeMahieu as one that got away.," 8 Nov. 2019 The pace of formal job creation has decelerated over the past year. The Economist, "Mexico’s radical president serves up economic mediocrity," 7 Nov. 2019 Although the pace has slowed in recent years, China’s box office receipts grew by an average of 35 percent a year over the past decade. Wired, "China's Sprawling Movie Sets Put Hollywood to Shame," 6 Nov. 2019 That's nearly triple the pace of growth of the previous 10 years. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Midland, Texas: America's ultimate boomtown," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Caroline Mastria paced the Knights’ offense with 11 kills and Eva Brandt collected 10 in a 25-10, 25-5, 25-8 victory to win their 2A state quarterfinal in Eldersburg. Brent Kennedy,, "Volleyball: Westminster sweeps Reservoir in 3A state quarterfinals to stay unbeaten," 8 Nov. 2019 After a few excursions—the islands of La Digue and Praslin (the latter for its Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve)—I decide to pace myself and just luxuriate in the beachy splendor of the private villas of the Banyan Tree Seychelles. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "8 Countries, 21 Days, 1 Private Planet: The Ultimate Travel Bucket List Trip," 31 Oct. 2019 F Justise Winslow paced the offense with 27 points, while G Kendrick Nunn dropped 24. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks odds, lines, picks and betting tips," 26 Oct. 2019 Viewers eager to consume the show will have to pace themselves: Apple TV+ will make three episodes of the series available immediately, but the remaining seven will be released weekly. Meredith Blake And Yvonne Villarreal,, "Commentary: Are these end times for binge culture?," 19 Oct. 2019 Making her season debut with Burbank after transferring from rival Burroughs before sitting out the first five league matches per CIF Southern Section rules, Kiara Hernandez paced the Bulldogs with an even-par 36 for second place. Burbank Leader, "Leader Sports Roundup: Providence girls’ volleyball sweeps Flintridge Prep," 3 Oct. 2019 With a two-set lead, the Rebels paced themselves against the Dolphins in the third set hoping to complete the sweep at home. Vincent Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "Flintridge Prep girls’ volleyball can’t hold lead," 1 Oct. 2019 On Friday afternoon, Sean Bagniewski, the chair of the Polk County Democrats, paced the grassy sprawl of the Water Works Park, in Des Moines, in anticipation of his party’s famed steak fry. Eren Orbey, The New Yorker, "The Colorful Pageantry and Mob Mentality of the Iowa Caucuses," 24 Sep. 2019 But there were four stops on the food tour of Jonestown and Little Italy, and guide Molly Hayesliphad advised her group to pace themselves. Christina Tkacik,, "Where is John Wilkes Booth buried? Walking, talking and eating your way through Baltimore," 10 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pace

Time Traveler for pace

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about pace

Statistics for pace

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pace.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!