Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

pace 1

1. A step made in walking; a stride.
2. A unit of length equal to 30 inches (0.76 meter).
3. The distance spanned by a step or stride, especially:
a. The modern version of the Roman pace, measuring five English feet. Also called geometric pace.
b. Thirty inches at quick marching time or 36 at double time.
c. Five Roman feet or 58.1 English inches, measured from the point at which the heel of one foot is raised to the point at which it is set down again after an intervening step by the other foot.
a. The rate of speed at which a person, animal, or group walks or runs.
b. The rate of speed at which an activity or movement proceeds.
5. A manner of walking or running: a jaunty pace.
6. A gait of a horse in which both feet on one side are lifted and put down together.
v. paced, pac·ing, pac·es
a. To walk or stride back and forth across: paced the floor nervously.
b. To measure (a space) by counting the number of steps needed to cover a distance.
c. To walk (a number of steps) in so measuring a space.
2. Sports
a. To set or regulate the rate of speed for (a race or a competitor in a race).
b. To lead (one's team or teammates) with a good performance: paced her team to a victory with 18 points.
3. To advance or develop (something) for a particular purpose or at a particular rate: paced the lectures so as not to overwhelm the students.
4. To train (a horse) in a particular gait, especially the pace.
1. To walk with long deliberate steps.
2. To go at the pace. Used of a horse or rider.
pace (oneself)
To move or make progress at a sensible or moderate rate.

[Middle English, from Old French pas, from Latin passus, from past participle of pandere, to stretch, spread out; see petə- in Indo-European roots.]

pa·ce 2

 (pä′chā, -kā, pā′sē)
With the permission of; with deference to. Used to express polite or ironically polite disagreement: I have not, pace my detractors, entered into any secret negotiations.

[Latin pāce, ablative of pāx, peace; see pag- in Indo-European roots.]

pa′ce adv.


a. a single step in walking
b. the distance covered by a step
2. (Units) a measure of length equal to the average length of a stride, approximately 3 feet. See also Roman pace, geometric pace, military pace
3. speed of movement, esp of walking or running
4. rate or style of proceeding at some activity: to live at a fast pace.
5. manner or action of stepping, walking, etc; gait
6. (Horse Training, Riding & Manège) any of the manners in which a horse or other quadruped walks or runs, the three principal paces being the walk, trot, and canter (or gallop)
7. (Horse Training, Riding & Manège) a manner of moving, natural to the camel and sometimes developed in the horse, in which the two legs on the same side of the body are moved and put down at the same time
8. (Architecture) architect a step or small raised platform
9. keep pace with to proceed at the same speed as
10. put someone through his paces to test the ability of someone
11. set the pace to determine the rate at which a group runs or walks or proceeds at some other activity
12. stand the pace stay the pace to keep up with the speed or rate of others
13. (tr) to set or determine the pace for, as in a race
14. (often foll by: about, up and down, etc) to walk with regular slow or fast paces, as in boredom, agitation, etc: to pace the room.
15. (often foll by: out) to measure by paces: to pace out the distance.
16. (intr) to walk with slow regular strides: to pace along the street.
17. (Horse Training, Riding & Manège) (intr) (of a horse) to move at the pace (the specially developed gait)
[C13: via Old French from Latin passūs step, from pandere to spread, unfold, extend (the legs as in walking)]


(ˈpɑːkɛ; ˈpɑːtʃɛ; English ˈpeɪsɪ)
(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) with due deference to: used to acknowledge politely someone who disagrees with the speaker or writer
[C19: from Latin, from pāx peace]


(in England and Wales) n acronym for
(Law) Police and Criminal Evidence Act



n., v. paced, pac•ing. n.
1. a rate of movement, esp. in stepping, walking, etc.: to hike at a rapid pace.
2. a rate of activity, progress, growth, etc.; tempo.
3. any of various standard linear measures representing the space measured by a single step in walking.
4. a single step.
5. the distance covered in a step.
6. a manner of stepping; gait.
7. a gait of a horse or other animal in which the feet on the same side are lifted and put down together.
8. to set or regulate the pace for, as in racing.
9. to traverse with slow, regular steps.
10. to measure by paces.
11. to train to a certain pace: to pace a horse.
12. (of a horse) to run (a distance) at a pace.
13. to take slow, regular steps.
14. to walk up and down.
15. (of a horse) to go at a pace.
[1250–1300; Middle English pas < Old French < Latin passus step, pace =pad-, variant s. of pandere to spread (the legs, in walking)]


(ˈpeɪ si, ˈpɑ tʃeɪ; Lat. ˈpɑ kɛ)

with all due respect to: I do not, pace my rivals, agree with their ideas.
[1860–65; < Latin pāce in peace, by favor (abl. singular of pāx peace, favor, pardon, grace)]


For ground forces, the speed of a column or element regulated to maintain a prescribed average speed.


 a company or herd of asses—Bk. of St. Albans, 1486.




at a snail’s pace Very slowly, at an exceedingly slow rate of movement or progress. According to one source which claims to have actually measured its speed, a snail moves at the rate of one mile in fourteen days. The snail, like the turtle, is one of the slowest-moving creatures on the earth and has symbolized extreme slowness, tardiness, and sluggishness for centuries.

That snail’s pace with which business is clone by letters. (Madame D’Arblay, Diary and Letters, 1793)

blue streak See talk a blue streak, TALKATIVENESS.

faster than greased lightning At the highest possible speed; moving at a tremendous velocity. Lightning travels at the speed of light, considered by modern scientists to be the highest attainable. The concept of lubricating a lightning bolt to reduce its friction with the air and consequently increase its speed is the apparent origin of this American term.

He spoke as quick as “greased lightning.” (Boston Herald, January, 1833)

full tilt See INTENSITY.

hand over fist Left and right, by leaps and bounds, a mile a minute, rapidly; usually in reference to making money. The original expression, dating from at least 1736, was hand over hand, a nautical term with the literal meaning of advancing the hands alternatively, as when climbing up or down a rope or when raising or hauling in a sail. Still in nautical use, the phrase acquired the figurative sense of advancing continuously, as one ship gaining rapidly on another. It is in this sense that hand over fist was first used, about 1825, according to OED citations. The figurative use of hand over fist, the only form of this expression current today, dates from the 19th century.

hellbent See ZEALOUSNESS.

like a bat out of hell Very rapidly, swiftly, speedily. The precise origin or explanation is unknown. A plausible conjecture is that bats, because of their aversion to light, would beat a hasty retreat from the illuminating flames of the infernal regions. The phrase is of American origin.

We went like a bat out of hell along a good state road. (John Dos Passos, Three Soldiers, 1921)

like a house afire Quickly, rapidly, like greased lightning; vigorously, enthusiastically, hammer and tongs. This expression refers to the swiftness with which a fire can consume a house, particularly one built of wood or other flammable materials.

make a beeline To proceed directly and with dispatch; to hasten, hurry; to rush, race, or make a mad dash toward. It is commonly believed that pollen-carrying bees return to the hive speedily and directly; hence beeline meaning ‘the most direct route.’ The term is believed to be originally American; it appeared in 1848 in The Biglow Papers by James Russell Lowell.

quick as a wink Very quickly, in no time at all; in the twinkling of an eye. This is an obvious metaphor referring to the split second it takes to blink the eye.

sell like hot cakes To sell very quickly; to be disposed of immediately and without effort, usually in quantity; to be in great demand; also to go like hot cakes. Originally, hot cakes referred to corn cakes, but the term now applies to grid-dlecakes or pancakes. Freshly baked cakes, still warm from the oven, would presumably sell quickly because people would want to “get ‘em while they’re hot.” The expression dates from the early 19th century.

Ice cream sold like hot cakes Saturday, and hot cakes didn’t sell at all, as the temperature began to climb early in the morning and kept it up until 4:30 P.M. (The Fort Collins Coloradoan, June, 1946)

slap-bang See CARELESSNESS.

slapdash See CARELESSNESS.

slow as molasses in January Very slow, barely moving. Molasses, naturally thick and sluggish, becomes even more so in cold weather due to the crystallization of its high sugar content. Among the numerous variants are the expanded version slow as molasses going uphill in January and slow as cold molasses.


1. 'pace'

A pace is a step of normal length that you take when you walk.

He'd only gone a few paces before he stopped again.
The waiter stepped back a pace, watching his customer carefully.
2. 'footstep'

You do not use 'pace' to refer to the sound made by a person's step. The word you use is footstep.

They heard footsteps and turned round.
3. 'footprint'

You also do not use 'pace'to refer to a mark in the ground made by a person's foot. The word you use is footprint.

...fresh footprints in the snow.
There were no footprints or any signs of how the burglars got in.


Past participle: paced
Gerund: pacing

I pace
you pace
he/she/it paces
we pace
you pace
they pace
I paced
you paced
he/she/it paced
we paced
you paced
they paced
Present Continuous
I am pacing
you are pacing
he/she/it is pacing
we are pacing
you are pacing
they are pacing
Present Perfect
I have paced
you have paced
he/she/it has paced
we have paced
you have paced
they have paced
Past Continuous
I was pacing
you were pacing
he/she/it was pacing
we were pacing
you were pacing
they were pacing
Past Perfect
I had paced
you had paced
he/she/it had paced
we had paced
you had paced
they had paced
I will pace
you will pace
he/she/it will pace
we will pace
you will pace
they will pace
Future Perfect
I will have paced
you will have paced
he/she/it will have paced
we will have paced
you will have paced
they will have paced
Future Continuous
I will be pacing
you will be pacing
he/she/it will be pacing
we will be pacing
you will be pacing
they will be pacing
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been pacing
you have been pacing
he/she/it has been pacing
we have been pacing
you have been pacing
they have been pacing
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been pacing
you will have been pacing
he/she/it will have been pacing
we will have been pacing
you will have been pacing
they will have been pacing
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been pacing
you had been pacing
he/she/it had been pacing
we had been pacing
you had been pacing
they had been pacing
I would pace
you would pace
he/she/it would pace
we would pace
you would pace
they would pace
Past Conditional
I would have paced
you would have paced
he/she/it would have paced
we would have paced
you would have paced
they would have paced


1. A Latin word meaning peace, used to express polite disagreement with someone else’s opinions.
2. A unit of length/distance equal to about three feet, used in ancient Rome.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pace - the rate of moving (especially walking or running)pace - the rate of moving (especially walking or running)
quick time - a normal marching pace of 120 steps per minute
double time - a fast marching pace (180 steps/min) or slow jog
rate - a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit; "they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour"; "the rate of change was faster than expected"
2.pace - the distance covered by a steppace - the distance covered by a step; "he stepped off ten paces from the old tree and began to dig"
indefinite quantity - an estimated quantity
3.pace - the relative speed of progress or change; "he lived at a fast pace"; "he works at a great rate"; "the pace of events accelerated"
temporal property - a property relating to time
fastness, swiftness, speed - a rate (usually rapid) at which something happens; "the project advanced with gratifying speed"
beat - a regular rate of repetition; "the cox raised the beat"
celerity, rapidity, rapidness, speediness, quickness - a rate that is rapid
deliberateness, unhurriedness, slowness, deliberation - a rate demonstrating an absence of haste or hurry
sluggishness - the pace of things that move relatively slowly; "the sluggishness of the economy"; "the sluggishness of the compass in the Arctic cold"
4.pace - a step in walking or runningpace - a step in walking or running  
walk, walking - the act of traveling by foot; "walking is a healthy form of exercise"
step - the act of changing location by raising the foot and setting it down; "he walked with unsteady steps"
5.pace - the rate of some repeating event
beats per minute, bpm, M.M., metronome marking - the pace of music measured by the number of beats occurring in 60 seconds
rate - a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit; "they traveled at a rate of 55 miles per hour"; "the rate of change was faster than expected"
6.pace - a unit of length equal to 3 feet; defined as 91.44 centimeters; originally taken to be the average length of a stride
linear measure, linear unit - a unit of measurement of length
ft, foot - a linear unit of length equal to 12 inches or a third of a yard; "he is six feet tall"
perch, rod, pole - a linear measure of 16.5 feet
chain - a unit of length
lea - a unit of length of thread or yarn
fathom, fthm - a linear unit of measurement (equal to 6 feet) for water depth
Verb1.pace - walk with slow or fast paces; "He paced up and down the hall"
walk - use one's feet to advance; advance by steps; "Walk, don't run!"; "We walked instead of driving"; "She walks with a slight limp"; "The patient cannot walk yet"; "Walk over to the cabinet"
2.pace - go at a pacepace - go at a pace; "The horse paced"  
go, locomote, move, travel - change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically; "How fast does your new car go?"; "We travelled from Rome to Naples by bus"; "The policemen went from door to door looking for the suspect"; "The soldiers moved towards the city in an attempt to take it before night fell"; "news travelled fast"
canter - go at a canter, of horses
walk - walk at a pace; "The horses walked across the meadow"
rack, single-foot - go at a rack; "the horses single-footed"
gallop - go at galloping speed; "The horse was galloping along"
3.pace - measure (distances) by pacing; "step off ten yards"
measure, quantify - express as a number or measure or quantity; "Can you quantify your results?"
4.pace - regulate or set the pace of; "Pace your efforts"
shape, determine, influence, regulate, mold - shape or influence; give direction to; "experience often determines ability"; "mold public opinion"


1. speed, rate, momentum, tempo, progress, motion, clip (informal), lick (informal), velocity driving at a steady pace
2. step, walk, stride, tread, gait Their pace quickened as they approached their cars.
3. footstep, step, stride I took a pace backwards.
1. stride, walk, pound, patrol, walk up and down, march up and down, walk back and forth He paced the room nervously.
pace something out measure, determine, mark out Colin paced out the length of the field.


Rate of motion or performance:
Informal: clip.
To go on foot:
Slang: hoof.
Idiom: foot it.
hastighedskridtgå frem og tilbage
ganga fram og tilbakahraîiskref
duoti tempągreitisišbandytiišmatuoti žingsniaismatuoti žingsniais
gaitasolissoļot šurpu turpu
bước chân


1 [ˈpeɪs]
A. N
1. (= step) → paso m
I took a couple of paces forward/backdi un par de pasos hacia delante/atrás
the tiger was only a few paces awayel tigre estaba a sólo unos pasos
to go through one's paces [performer] → demostrar de lo que se es capaz
to put sb through his/her pacesponer a algn a prueba
to put a horse through its pacesejercitar un caballo
2. (= speed)
2.1. (when walking, running) → paso m, ritmo m
I could hardly keep pace (with him)apenas podía seguirle el ritmo or el paso
to set the pace (Sport) → marcar el paso or el ritmo
they walked at a steady pace, their pace was steadymarchaban a un paso or ritmo constante
see also quicken, slacken A
see also snail, walking C
2.2. (fig) → ritmo m
to do sth at one's own pacehacer algo a su (propio) ritmo
the economy is growing at a brisk pacela economía está creciendo a un ritmo rápido
the pace of change/lifeel ritmo de cambio/vida
I can't keep pace with eventsno puedo seguir el ritmo de los acontecimientos
salaries are not keeping pace with inflationlos sueldos no avanzan al mismo ritmo or paso que la inflaciónlos sueldos no siguen el ritmo de la inflación
her novels lack paceel ritmo de sus novelas es demasiado lento
this company is setting the pace in new technologyesta empresa está marcando la pauta en nueva tecnología
he can't stand or stay the pacelas cosas se desarrollan demasiado rápidamente para él
see also force B5
1. (anxiously)
to pace the floorir or andar de un lado para otro
Harry was pacing the roomHarry iba or andaba de un lado para otro de la habitación
2. (= set pace of) to pace sb (Sport) → marcar el ritmo a algn
to pace o.s.: it was a tough race and I had to pace myselfera una carrera difícil y tuve que tener cuidado de no gastar toda mi energía al principio
you should pace yourself and not attempt too much at oncetienes que tomártelo poco a poco y no intentar hacer demasiado de una vez
he knows how to pace the action (Cine, Theat) → sabe cómo marcar el ritmo de la acción
a fast-paced world/lifeun mundo/una vida de ritmo trepidante
a well-paced dramaun drama con el ritmo de la acción bien marcado
C. VI Alan was pacing nervouslyAlan se paseaba nervioso (de un lado para otro), Alan iba or andaba de un lado para otro nervioso
to pace back and forth; pace up and downir or pasearse de un lado para otro
D. CPD pace bowler N (Cricket) jugador de cricket que normalmente lanza la bola rápido
pace bowling N (Cricket) lanzamiento rápido de la bola
pace out pace off VT + ADV [+ distance] → medir en or con pasos
to pace out ten metresmedir diez metros en or con pasos
he paced out the length of the fieldmidió la longitud del campo en or con pasos


2 [ˈpeɪsɪ] PREP (frm) → según, de acuerdo con


(= single step) → pas m
He stopped when he was a few paces away → Il s'est arrêté à quelques pas.
to take a pace forwards → avancer d'un pas
to take a pace backwards → reculer d'un pas
[walker, runner] → allure f
He was walking at a brisk pace → Il marchait à vive allure.
He proceeded at a leisurely pace → Il continua son chemin doucement en prenant son temps., Il continua son chemin à petite allure.
to quicken one's pace → accélérer l'allure
to keep pace with sb → se maintenir à la hauteur de qn
to set the pace [runner] → mener le train, imposer son train
The pace he set was too fast for the others → Le train qu'il avait imposé était trop rapide pour les autres.
to put sb through their paces → demander à qn de montrer ce dont il est capable
The coach put the British team through their paces → L'entraîneur a demandé à l'équipe britannique de montrer ce dont elle était capable.
to go through one's paces → montrer ce dont on est capable
(= speed) → rythme m
people who prefer to live at a slower pace → les gens qui préfèrent vivre à un rythme plus lent
to do sth at one's own pace → faire qch à son rythme
The computer will allow students to learn at their own pace → L'ordinateur permettra aux étudiants d'apprendre à leur rythme.
the pace of change → le rythme du changement
to keep pace with sth [+ developments, new technologies, technological advance] → être en phase avec qch; [+ demand, growth] → faire face à
the company is struggling to keep pace with demand → la compagnie a du mal à faire face à la demande
to keep pace with inflation → suivre l'inflation
Earnings have not kept pace with inflation → Les revenus n'ont pas suivi l'inflation.
to keep pace with the times → évoluer avec son temps
to set the pace (= set the standard) → donner le ton
to set the pace for sth → donner le ton à qch
vifaire les cent pas
to pace up and down → faire les cent pas
[+ room, corridor] → arpenter
to pace the floor → faire les cent pas
to pace up and down sth → arpenter qch
Harold paced nervously up and down the platform → Harold arpentait nerveusement le quai de la gare.
to pace o.s. → doser son effort
pace around
vt fus [+ room] → arpenter


prepohne … (dat)nahetreten zu wollen


(= step)Schritt m; (of horse)Gangart f; (lifting both legs on same side) → Passgang m; twelve paces awayzwölf Schritt(e) entfernt; at 20 pacesauf 20 Schritte Entfernung; to put a horse through its pacesein Pferd alle Gangarten machen lassen; to put somebody/a new car through his/its paces (fig)jdn/ein neues Auto auf Herz und Nieren prüfen; to go through or show one’s paceszeigen, was man draufhat (inf)
(= speed)Tempo nt; the more leisurely pace of life in those daysdas geruhsamere Leben damals; at a good or smart pacerecht schnell; at an incredible paceunglaublich schnell, mit or in unglaublichem Tempo; at a slow pacelangsam; to learn at one’s own pacein seinem eigenen Tempo lernen; to keep paceSchritt halten; (in discussing) → mitkommen; I can’t keep pace with eventsich komme mit den Ereignissen nicht mehr mit; to make or set the pacedas Tempo angeben; to quicken one’s paceseinen Schritt beschleunigen; (working) → sein Tempo beschleunigen; to speed up the pace of reformsdas Tempo der Reformen erhöhen; I’m getting old, I can’t stand the pace any more (inf)ich werde alt, ich kann nicht mehr mithalten; the change of pace in the narrativeder Tempowechsel in der Erzählung; he has a good change of pace (runner) → er kann sein Tempo gut beschleunigen
(= measure) floor, roommit Schritten ausmessen
(in anxiety etc) → auf und ab gehen or schreiten in (+dat)
competitordas Tempo angeben (+dat)
horseim Passgang gehen lassen
to pace aroundhin und her laufen; to pace up and downauf und ab gehen or schreiten; to pace round the roomim Zimmer umhergehen
(horse)im Passgang gehen


1. n
a. (step) → passo
30 paces away → a 30 passi di distanza
to put sb through his paces (fig) → mettere qn alla prova
b. (speed) → passo, andatura
at a good pace (walk) → di buon passo (work) → ad un buon ritmo
at a slow pace → lentamente
the pace of life → il ritmo di vita
to keep pace with (person) → andare di pari passo con (fig) (technology) → procedere di pari passo con (events) → tenersi al corrente di
to set the pace (running) → fare l'andatura (fig) → dare il la or il tono
2. vt (room) → andare su e giù per
to pace sth off or out → misurare a passi qc
3. vi to pace up and downcamminare su e giù or avanti e indietro


(peis) noun
1. a step. He took a pace forward.
2. speed of movement. a fast pace.
to walk backwards and forwards (across). He paced up and down.
ˈpacemaker noun
1. an electronic device to make the heart beats regular or stronger.
2. a person who sets the speed of a race.
keep pace with
to go as fast as. He kept pace with the car on his motorbike.
pace out
to measure by walking along, across etc with even steps. She paced out the room.
put someone etc through his etc paces
to make someone etc show what he etc can do. He put his new car through its paces.
set the pace
to go forward at a particular speed which everyone else has to follow. Her experiments set the pace for future research.
show one's paces
to show what one can do. They made the horse show its paces.


سُرْعَةٌ tempo hastighed Schritt βήμα paso askel allure tempo ritmo 歩調 보조 tempo skritt tempo passo, ritmo частота tempo จังหวะความเร็ว adım bước chân


n. marcha, paso, el andar;
v. andar, marchar.
References in classic literature ?
If anyone had been watching her, he would have thought her movements decidedly peculiar, for on alighting, she went off at a great pace till she reached a certain number in a certain busy street.
Tom King was forced to take extraordinary long strides to keep pace with the little man.
Damon arose, to pace excitedly up and down the room.
On starlight nights I used to pace up and down those long, cold streets, scowling at the little, sleeping houses on either side, with their storm-windows and covered back porches.
He fixed his gaze upon a white sunshade that was advancing at snail's pace from the beach.
Here their progress was less interrupted; and the instant the guide perceived that the females could command their steeds, he moved on, at a pace between a trot and a walk, and at a rate which kept the sure- footed and peculiar animals they rode at a fast yet easy amble.
She quickened her pace slightly to reach a projecting point of rock that gave her a more extended prospect.
It was not pity that restrained him, for, at the first sound of the enfeebled voice, a red fire kindled in his eyes, and he made a quick pace forward, with something inexpressibly fierce and grim darkening forth, as it were, out of the whole man.
Pearl set forth at a great pace, and as Hester smiled to perceive, did actually catch the sunshine, and stood laughing in the midst of it, all brightened by its splendour, and scintillating with the vivacity excited by rapid motion.
The stranger, however, quickened his horse to an equal pace.
But once, the mood was on him too deep for common regardings; and as with heavy, lumber-like pace he was measuring the ship from taffrail to mainmast, Stubb, the odd second mate, came up from below, and with a certain unassured, deprecating humorousness, hinted that if Captain Ahab was pleased to walk the planks, then, no one could say nay; but there might be some way of muffling the noise; hinting something indistinctly and hesitatingly about a globe of tow, and the insertion into it, of the ivory heel.
Now, with elated step, they pace the planks in twos and threes, and humorously discourse of parlors, sofas, carpets, and fine cambrics; propose to mat the deck; think of having hangings to the top; object not to taking tea by moonlight on the piazza of the forecastle.