\ ˈpakt How to pronounce pact (audio) \

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 Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia only wants to keep the New START treaty as much as the U.S. does and will protect its security regardless of the pact’s fate. Washington Post, "Russia skeptical about nuclear pact extension prospects," 10 July 2020 Justin Trudeau declined to attend a trilateral summit in Washington this week to inaugurate the new trade pact between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Fortune, "Justin Trudeau will not attend new NAFTA summit in U.S. this week," 6 July 2020 Included in the pact is a technology transfer from Gilead for the manufacture of the drug. Carla Canivete,, "Dr. Reddy’s Labs Signs Licensing Pact With Gilead for Remdesivir," 14 June 2020 Lawmakers also ratified a second pact that protects investors. Hau Dinh, The Christian Science Monitor, "Landmark trade deal: Vietnam and EU forge new relationship," 8 June 2020 Russia denied breaching the pact, which came into force in 2002, and the European Union has urged the U.S. to reconsider. Washington Post, "Russia skeptical about nuclear pact extension prospects," 10 July 2020 The president ultimately renegotiated the pact as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which went into effect last week and largely built upon NAFTA. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "Trump’s near-perfect endorsement record in GOP primaries gets put to test in Texas Panhandle runoff," 9 July 2020 Given that GM Les Snead agreed to give up two first-round picks for the cornerback's services, Ramsey has sizable leverage in negotiations ahead of the final year of his pact. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "10 NFL stars next in line to land huge contracts: Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott on deck," 9 July 2020 The salary bump was tied to an automatic escalator stuffed into his seven-year pact with the school. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Jim Harbaugh explains lack of contract extension. Here's what it is," 8 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for pact

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pact

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for pact


How to pronounce pact (audio)

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 How to pronounce pact (audio) \

Kids Definition of pact

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More from Merriam-Webster on pact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pact

Spanish Central: Translation of pact

Nglish: Translation of pact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pact for Arabic Speakers

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