\ 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 Trump has repeatedly called for talks without preconditions, despite having abandoned the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers that curbed Iran’s atomic energy activities in exchange for major sanctions relief. Washington Post, "Iran says U.S. must ‘abandon warmongers’ following Bolton’s dismissal," 13 Sep. 2019 Netanyahu has been fierce in his lobbying of Trump, urging him to pull out of the controversial 2015 nuclear pact with Iran and consistently pushing the United States for increasing economic sanctions against its regional archenemy., "According to the report, which cited three anonymous former senior US officials ‘‘with knowledge of the matter,’’ the equipment — devices that mimic cell towers, fooling cellphones into giving them their locations and identity information — was discovered some time ago.," 13 Sep. 2019 To withdraw, the U.K. must extract itself from pacts under the union that affect trade, migration, customs, tariffs, and more. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Approves a Suspension of Parliament amid Brexit Controversy," 29 Aug. 2019 France, Germany and other G-7 members are unhappy that Trump withdrew the U.S. from a 2015 international pact that eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for the Iranians agreeing to limit their nuclear program. Fortune, "Trump Portrays G-7 as a Love Fest," 27 Aug. 2019 France, Germany and other G-7 members are unhappy that Trump withdrew the U.S. from a 2015 international pact that eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for the Iranians agreeing to limit their nuclear program. Zeke Miller, The Denver Post, "G-7 achievement: Trump declares, “We got along great”," 26 Aug. 2019 European leaders and Japan have tried to maintain ties with Iran and have sought to keep the nuclear pact alive. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Doubts over China trade war and rifts over Iran dominate G7 summit of world leaders," 25 Aug. 2019 Tensions between Iran and the West, particularly the U.S., have been steadily rising since President Donald Trump decided last year to pull out of the nuclear pact between Iran and several global powers. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "'Alter your course': Dramatic audio released of Iran seizing British ship," 21 July 2019 An unofficial pact, with Conservative candidates playing dead in certain no-hope constituencies, is possible, suggest Tory aides. The Economist, "How pacts and tactical voting could sway the coming British election," 14 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for pact

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for pact

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

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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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a calculated move

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