\ 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

Synonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

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Though used in English since the 19th century, 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 Fever kept pace with Washington in the opening minutes, thanks to Tiffany Mitchell and Kelsey Mitchell scoring the team’s first 10 points. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 7 May 2022 For the past 30 years, companies whose top-line growth hasn't kept pace with the market have disappeared shortly afterwards. Mike Bugembe, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Recycling infrastructure, technology and education haven’t kept pace. Talal Ansari, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Even so, pay raises haven’t kept pace with the spike in consumer prices. Paul Wiseman, Anchorage Daily News, 6 May 2022 With the leaders making their move with about 400 meters to go, Ciattei kept pace and then separated himself from that group with about 200 meters remaining. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 3 May 2022 Consumer confidence has tanked in Europe, as wages haven’t kept pace with the rapid rise in prices. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 Yet, as with much of the real estate sector, new student housing construction has not kept pace with demand. Camille Squires, Quartz, 20 Apr. 2022 Some workers at the store say a union is needed because wages have not kept pace with the cost of living in New York City. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 19 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kizer, the junior second baseman, went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs to pace the Huskies at the plate. Reports, al, 7 May 2022 Drew Kinsey drove in three runs to pace the offense. Baltimore Sun, 22 Apr. 2022 His poise and intensity are of a champion who knows how to pace himself and has identified every potential obstacle in his path. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 9 Apr. 2022 The senior captain scored six goals and handed out six assists to pace the Bulldogs in a 16-5 win over Milford to open their season Monday. Nate Weitzer,, 7 Apr. 2022 What good is a movie that can’t stop moving, or screaming, long enough to pace itself? Michael Phillips,, 6 Apr. 2022 Alyssa Manley, Mackenzie Robinson and Montana Fairbairn produced career highs to pace UAA’s gymnastics team to a 190.500 total at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women’s Gymnastics Championships at University Credit Union Center. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Mar. 2022 Stewart pitched four shutout innings and added two hits and two walks in the leadoff position to pace the Blackhawks to a 9-0 victory over Greenland in the Jarren Sorters Memorial Tournament at Allen Park. Rick Fires, Arkansas Online, 25 Mar. 2022 Tyger Campbell scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half to pace the Bruins and added five assists. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for pace


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on pace

Nglish: Translation of pace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pace for Arabic Speakers


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