: 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 As part of the new pact, Formation Bio, an AI drugmaker with its own pipeline, will offer engineering resources and its development platform, while OpenAI will provide its AI insights. Elaine Chen, STAT, 21 May 2024 In 2014, a trade pact with China that opponents believed would leave Taiwan vulnerable to political pressure prompted hundreds of students to occupy the Taipei legislature in what became known as the Sunflower Movement. Charlie Campbell, TIME, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for pact 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pact.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near pact

Cite this Entry

“Pact.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: agreement sense 2
especially : a treaty between countries

Middle English pact "agreement," from early French pact (same meaning), from Latin pactum (same meaning), derived from pacisci "to agree, contract"

More from Merriam-Webster on pact

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