\ ˈpakt \

Definition of pact 

: compact entry 4 especially : an international treaty

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Did You Know?

Pact has "peace" at its root because a pact often ends a period of unfriendly relations. The word is generally used in the field of international relations, where diplomats may speak of an "arms pact", a "trade pact", or a "fishing-rights pact". But it may also be used for any solemn agreement or promise between two people; after all, whenever two parties shake hands on a deal, they're not about to go to war with each other.

Examples of pact in a Sentence

We supported a peace pact between the two countries. They made a pact to go to the gym together three times a week.

Recent Examples on the Web

McLemore, 25, joined the Grizzlies last offseason on a two-year pact and averaged 7.5 points for the team in 56 games. Neal J. Leitereg, sacbee, "Former Kings No. 1 draft pick settling down very well after trade - in this L.A. home | The Sacramento Bee," 29 Apr. 2018 The movie follows three best friends, Julie (Kathryn Newton), Sam (Gideon Adlon) and Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan, another excellent newcomer), who make a pact to lose their virginities on prom night. Anna Silman, The Cut, "Gideon Adlon Is Ready for Anything," 6 Apr. 2018 Blockers is a tale of two trios: three teenage girls who make a pact to lose their virginity on prom night and three parents who are out to stop them. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Blockers is a solid raunch comedy that dares to let its teen girl characters be great," 5 Apr. 2018 Blackmon and the Rockies reached agreement on a pact that will pay him $75 million over four seasons, beginning in 2019, with player options of $21 million for 2022 and $10 million for 2023. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "Rockies, All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon agree on extension worth up to $108 million," 4 Apr. 2018 The League’s traditional hostility to the poorer south, where M5S is strongest, makes such a pact hard. The Economist, "Why Europe should be worried," 8 Mar. 2018 The energy alliance is also asking Trump to keep NAFTA as is should negotiations break down and not to seek a resolution putting an expiration date on the pact. Houston Chronicle, "Texas oil companies tell Trump to leave NAFTA alone," 1 Feb. 2018 The Calumet Township Board is expected to act on a pact to provide ambulance service to the unincorporated areas early this year. Carrie Napoleon, Post-Tribune, "New Chicago Fire inks county fire service deal," 19 Jan. 2018 The parties often settle on one-year pacts before officially submitting numbers, as was the case for Rojas and Dietrich. Tim Healey,, "Marlins head toward arbitration with J.T. Realmuto, Dan Straily and Justin Bour," 12 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pact.' 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 pact

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pact

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin pactum, from neuter of pactus, past participle of pacisci to agree, contract; akin to Old English fōn to seize, Latin pax peace, pangere to fix, fasten, Greek pēgnynai

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Learn More about pact

Dictionary Entries near pact






pactional rent


Phrases Related to pact

nonaggression treaty/pact

suicide pact

Statistics for pact

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pact

The first known use of pact was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pact



English Language Learners Definition of pact

: a formal agreement between two countries, people, or groups especially to help each other or to stop fighting


\ ˈpakt \

Kids Definition of pact

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Comments on pact

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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