\ 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

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Synonyms for pace

Synonyms: Verb

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Though used in English for nearly 150 years, 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pace of change at BAAM has been rapid since Mr. Dowling joined, becoming the first outsider to run the business since its 1990 founding. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 Experts say that the pace of change is too slow to achieve the goals of COP26, which are to limit temperature increases and to avoid the worst possible effects of climate change. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 25 Oct. 2021 In Midtown Anchorage, at a Loussac Library pop-up clinic, the pace of vaccination was steady. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Oct. 2021 Already, the pace of Americans getting booster doses is higher than the rate of those being vaccinated for the first time. Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 22 Oct. 2021 There are more collections, brands, the pace is faster, and social media has had a huge impact. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Oct. 2021 But the pace of growth is still lower than an average of 8% in the sector before the pandemic, which points to weakness in domestic demand. Jane Li, Quartz, 18 Oct. 2021 The frantic pace of the start of the N.F.L. season may have been a predictor instead of an outlier. New York Times, 14 Oct. 2021 Tom Brady’s current pace is silly: 6,008 yards and 51 touchdowns against only seven interceptions. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That paved the way for team cohesion and collective adjustments in spacing and pace well before the team's Sept. 30 season-opening practice. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, 13 Oct. 2021 The Penn State commit threw for 313 yards and two touchdown passes to pace the offense in a 35-14 win against Brunswick, as the undefeated Bees clinched at least a share of the Greater Cleveland Conference crown. Matt Goul, cleveland, 10 Oct. 2021 Reilly Hickey scored two goals, and Lucia Antonucci added a goal and two assists, to pace the host Eagles (6-0-1) in the Commonwealth win., 6 Oct. 2021 Fairfield’s Shaniah Nunn posted a double-double to pace the North to a 66-61 victory over the South in Sports Week All-Star girls basketball at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex. Reports, al, 20 July 2021 The seventh-place Dallas Wings (12-17) pace the playoff hopefuls with a one-game lead after Tuesday night’s games. Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2021 Home builders can pace construction in subdivisions with costs and the availability of materials in mind, but apartment developers don’t have that luxury. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, 14 July 2021 Wilmington 29, Greater Lowell 7 — Marcelo Misuraca punched in scoring runs of 1 and 8 yards and Gavin Erickson broke off a 77-yard dash to pace the visiting Wildcats to the non-league win., 18 Sep. 2021 But on his final drive, Heinicke completed six of eight passes to pace the 50-yard scoring drive, and finished the game having completed 34 of 46 passes for 336 yards, two touchdowns and the interception. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 17 Sep. 2021

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.

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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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Time Traveler for pace

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

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Statistics for pace

Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for pace



English Language Learners Definition of pace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the speed at which someone or something moves
: the speed at which something happens
: a single step or the length of a single step



English Language Learners Definition of pace (Entry 2 of 2)

: to walk back and forth across the same space again and again especially because you are nervous
: to control or set the speed of (someone or something)


\ 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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