\ 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

These agreements, commonly known as Open Skies, are essentially free trade pacts. Ashley Nunes, Washington Post, "The U.S. and UAE resolved an air dispute. Or did they?," 15 May 2018 His pending deal for the Ravens is a four-year pact for $29 million with $14.5 million guaranteed, per NFL Network. Jeff Zrebiec,, "Ravens expected to sign wide receivers John Brown, Ryan Grant when market opens Wednesday," 14 Mar. 2018 European officials pledged to salvage the arrangement, even if that meant negotiating new financial incentives for Tehran to stay in the pact. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "It looks like Iran’s turn to sink the nuclear deal," 6 June 2018 With construction on Three Light expected to begin soon, Cordish asked the city for an amendment to the 2004 pact that appropriates $17.5 million for a third garage. Bill Turque, kansascity, "Cordish considers Midland office building for affordable housing | The Kansas City Star," 19 Mar. 2018 Video by Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press Wochit Michigan and Jim McElwain have agreed to a one-year pact. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Jim McElwain gets 1-year deal; coordinator title possible," 26 Feb. 2018 But the agreement is non-binding, and India and China—a frequent target of Trump's rhetoric—have actually demonstrated much stronger commitment to the pact. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "Trump's Latest Climate Change Interview Was Absurd," 29 Jan. 2018 Abandoned to the world, these bewildered and naive Thin Bloods threaten the Masquerade, the elaborate social pact that prevents humans from finding out about vampires. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 Renewed jitters over slowing global growth and investors’ impatience on a U.S.-China trade pact sent U.S. stocks to their worst day in nearly a month, the latest hiccup during a big rally fueled by the Federal Reserve this year. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Stocks Close Lower as Investors Pause on Trade Developments," 4 Mar. 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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Dictionary Entries near pact






pactional rent


Statistics for pact

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce pact (audio) \

Kids Definition of pact

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More from Merriam-Webster on pact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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