\ 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

Leaders were set to discuss the free trade pact, an agreement signed by 54 countries that supporters have said could reshape economic relationships on the continent. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "South African Riots Over ‘Xenophobia’ Prompt Backlash Across Africa," 5 Sep. 2019 In August South Korea decided to withdraw from a bilateral intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, further escalating the conflict. L.s. | Seoul, The Economist, "Why Japan and South Korea bicker," 3 Sep. 2019 The trade pact, an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, was ratified by all three nations late last year, but negotiations on its passage have continued. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "Reps. Cuellar, Hurd push Congress to pass USMCA," 23 Aug. 2019 The United States formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of violating the pact, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin. NBC News, "Russia accuses U.S. of stoking tensions with missile test, according to TASS," 20 Aug. 2019 The deal follows McAfee’s ESPN pact, announced July 29, to join the Thursday college football announcing team with Matt Hasselbeck (his former Colts teammate) and Adam Amin, and appear on ESPN morning show Get Up. Marisa Guthrie, The Hollywood Reporter, "Former NFL Star Pat McAfee Lands Daily Show on DAZN and Westwood One (Exclusive)," 7 Aug. 2019 According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix just made a pact with Warner Bros. TV to adapt the comic into what sources are calling the most expensive show DC Entertainment has ever undertaken. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "Neil Gaiman's Sandman Comics Reportedly Getting a Netflix Series," 1 July 2019 The leaders both have announced their withdrawal from a key arms control pact, the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Washington Post, "Like old pals, Trump, Putin make light of election meddling," 29 June 2019 But President Trump recently threatened to rip up that pact in negotiations with Mexico over border security. Melia Russell,, "Mexicans have a special route to the US job market. Trade wars could close it off," 16 June 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

9 Sep 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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