\ ˈpakt How to pronounce pact (audio) \

Definition of pact

: compact entry 4 especially : an international treaty

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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 The agreement called for one-time stipends of $2,000 and general wage increases of 3.5% in each of the final two years of the pact. Daniela Altimari,, 13 July 2021 News Corp also agreed to produce new audio and video products as part of the pact. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, 9 July 2021 Last month, the Parliament voted overwhelmingly to suspend consideration of the pact until China reversed its move., 8 June 2021 Jerusalem is also reportedly in the process of negotiating a mutual defense pact with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain. Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 Russia has a defense pact with Armenia and maintains an air base in the country. New York Times, 25 Feb. 2021 Russia has sizable minorities of both Armenians and Azerbaijanis, as well as a mutual defense pact with Armenia, while Turkey is openly supporting Azerbaijan. TheWeek, 25 Oct. 2020 The Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear pact in 2018 because U.S. officials believed the deal permitted Tehran’s rulers to build nuclear weapons. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 4 May 2021 If completed, an Amazon deal wouldn’t take effect until after the 2022 season, when Fox’s current pact for Thursday night football expires. Joe Flint, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2021

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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Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce pact (audio) \

Kids Definition of pact

More from Merriam-Webster on pact

Nglish: Translation of pact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pact for Arabic Speakers


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