\ ˈpās How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : rate of movement the runner's pace especially : an established rate of locomotion
b : rate of progress specifically : parallel rate of growth or development supplies kept pace with demand
c : an example to be emulated specifically : first place in a competition three strokes off the pace Time
d(1) : rate of performance or delivery : tempo a steady pace on pace to set a record especially : speed serves with great pace a pace bowler in cricket
(2) : rhythmic animation : fluency writes with color, with zest, and with pace— Amy Loveman
2 : a manner of walking : tread … walked slowly, with even, unhesitating pace— Willa Cather
b : any of various units of distance based on the length of a human step
4a paces plural : an exhibition or test of skills or capacities the trainer put the tiger through its paces
b : gait especially : a fast 2-beat gait (as of the horse) in which the legs move in lateral pairs and support the animal alternately on the right and left legs


paced; pacing

Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to walk with often slow or measured tread
b : to move along : proceed
2 : to go at a pace used especially of a horse

transitive verb

1a : to measure by pacing often used with off paced off a 10-yard penalty
b : to cover at a walk could hear him pacing the floor
2 : to cover (a course) by pacing used of a horse
3a : to set or regulate the pace of taught them how to pace their solos for … impact— Richard Goldstein also : to establish a moderate or steady pace for (oneself)
b(1) : to go before : precede
(2) : to set an example for : lead
c : to keep pace with
pa·​ce | \ ˈpā-(ˌ)sē How to pronounce pace (audio) ; ˈpä-(ˌ)chā, -(ˌ)kā How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Definition of pace (Entry 3 of 3)

: contrary to the opinion of usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion Easiness is a virtue in grammar, pace old-fashioned grammarians …— Philip Howard usually italics

Synonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

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Though used in English since the 19th century, the preposition pace has yet to shed its Latin mantle, and for that reason it's most at home in formal writing or in contexts in which one is playing at formality. The Latin word pace is a form of pax, meaning "peace" or "permission," and when used sincerely the word does indeed suggest a desire for both. This Latin borrowing is unrelated to the more common noun pace (as in "keeping pace") and its related verb ("pacing the room"); these also come from Latin, but from the word pandere, meaning "to spread."

Examples of pace in a Sentence

Noun We walked at a leisurely pace along the shore. The pace of the story was slow. His new album is selling at a blistering pace. Verb When she gets nervous she paces back and forth. He was pacing and muttering to himself. She paced the other runners for the first half of the race. Advertisements are paced so that they are shown more often during peak sales seasons. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If this imbalance is not fully addressed, a lack of diverse DNA sampling has the potential to hold back the pace of drug discovery and the development of, and more equitable access to, the promise of precision medicine. David Reese And Kári Stefánsson, STAT, 2 Aug. 2022 In an interview in June, a Taiwanese minister and TSMC board member said the company’s pace of construction at the Phoenix site would depend on passage of the federal subsidy law, which Congress approved last week. Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2022 That heady pace of dealmaking has created intense demand for CFOs that can help right sometimes challenging financials at companies in PE portfolios. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 Even so, the caliber and pace of restaurant openings appear to be picking up. oregonlive, 1 Aug. 2022 But much more money and action is needed to shift away from fossil fuels at the pace needed to keep emissions—and global warming—in check. Anna Hirtenstein, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 That’s an average of 117 a day, a roughly similar pace to incident totals in each of the last five years. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, 1 Aug. 2022 The pace usually picks up in the last 24 hours with any deadline in this game. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Aug. 2022 But lately, the construction pace at TERI Campus of Life in Twin Oaks Valley has accelerated. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Giles Little drove in two runs, scored twice more and finished 2-for-3 to pace Amherst in that one. Matt Goul, cleveland, 18 May 2022 Instead, people need to learn how to pace themselves. Judith Graham, CNN, 26 May 2022 Beyond all that, pace yourself, drink plenty of water and avoid that possum stew. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 June 2022 Archbishop Williams 5, Fontbonne 1 — Shelby Parr tossed a complete game, striking out 12, to pace the Bishops (12-6) to a nonleague win. Cam Kerry,, 20 May 2022 Billy O’Neil scored the overtime winner to pace the third-seeded Warriors (20-1) to a semifinal win against the No. 2 Skippers at Shepherd Hill in Dudley. Nate Weitzer,, 18 June 2022 Ayaylah Daley scored 6 points to pace the Purple Dragons to a 12-6 win over the Pink Flamingos. Gary Curreri,, 19 Nov. 2021 Instead, Mulvaney solicited the help of a few teammates to pace him to a 5K personal best of 15:49 at a local track in the neighborhood of Red Hook where, fittingly, the vibe is always rather post-apocalyptic. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 20 Mar. 2020 Last year’s festival had a reservation system in an effort to pace attendance due to COVID-19 public health protocols. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 30 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pace.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pace


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1522, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1863, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pace

Noun and Verb

Middle English pas, from Anglo-French, stride, step, from Latin passus, from pandere to spread — more at fathom


Latin, ablative of pac-, pax peace, permission — more at pact

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The first known use of pace was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pace


\ ˈpās How to pronounce pace (audio) \

Kids Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the speed of moving forward or ahead
2 : the speed at which something is done or happens The pace of production needs to increase.
3 : a horse's gait in which the legs on the same side move at the same time
4 : a single step or its length


paced; pacing

Kids Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to walk back and forth across The nervous man began pacing the floor.
2 : to walk with slow steps
3 : to measure by steps We paced off the length of the garden.
4 : to set or regulate the speed at which something is done or happens You have to pace yourself when exercising.

More from Merriam-Webster on pace

Nglish: Translation of pace for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pace for Arabic Speakers


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