The Meaning of Pace: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of pace? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word pace, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word pace mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word pace can be used as a noun of a verb. As a noun, the word pace can refer to the average length of a stride, rate of movement, rate of activity, relative speed of progress, or length of a step in English feet (ft.). It can also refer to the speed at which a quadruped walks, like a camel or a horse. Often, it refers to the gait of a horse in any of its various strides. This can include a gallop, in which two legs on the same side of the body are moved and put down at the same time, a canter, trot, or heel. There is also geometrical pace, a unit of linear measures in inches, centimeters or feet. Military pace is 30 inches, or 36 inches for double time. A Roman pace, which was measured from the heel of one foot to the heel of the same foot in the next stride, was 5 Roman ft, or 58.1 inches.

Pace can also be used as a verb to mean to walk back and forth across a space, or to regulate the progress or development of. It can also be used to mean to express polite or ironically polite disagreement. The pronunciation of pace is peɪs.

Many different languages also contain words that mean pace. You may notice in this list of translations of pace from Word Sense that several of these words look and sound a lot like the word pace. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words in different languages have the same root or language of origin. 

  •  Polish: krok‎ (masc.)
  •  Nynorsk: steg‎ (neut.)
  •  Latvian: solis‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: passo‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: askel‎
  •  Romanian: pas‎
  •  Bokmål: steg‎ (neut.), skritt‎ (neut.)
  •  Spanish: paso‎ (masc.)
  •  German: Schritt‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: βήμα‎ (neut.) (víma)
  •  Bashkir: аҙым‎
  •  Czech: krok‎
  •  Latin: passus‎, gradus‎
  •  Russian: шаг‎ (masc.)
  •  Swahili: mwendo‎
  •  Esperanto: paŝo‎
  •  Japanese: 歩幅‎
  •  Slovene: korak‎ (masc.)
  •  French: pas‎ (masc.)
  •  Hungarian: lépés‎
  •  Mandarin: 步伐‎ (bùfá), 步幅‎ (bùfú), 腳步‎, 脚步‎ (jiǎobù)
  •  Armenian: քայլ‎
  •  Ukrainian: крок‎ (masc.)
  •  Chamicuro: tepane‎

What is the origin of the word pace?

According to Etymonline, the word pace has been used since the late 13c Middle English. The word comes from the Old French pas, and directly from the Latin passus/Latin passūs step, which takes root in the past participle of pandere. This comes from the Latin pāx peace, from pat-no in Indo-European roots.

What are synonyms and antonyms of pace?

There are many different words that a person could use in place of the word pace. These words are known as synonyms, which have the same definition as another word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your English language written or spoken English. This list of synonyms for the word pace is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  footfall
  •  predate
  •  footsteps
  •  momentum
  •  yard
  •  beat
  •  gallop
  •  rhythm
  •  footstep
  •  regulation
  •  quickness
  •  foot it
  •  lick
  •  velocity
  •  pacing
  •  hoof
  •  rapidity
  •  plod
  •  stomp
  •  speeds
  •  cadence
  •  amble
  •  tempo
  •  progress
  •  foot
  •  march
  •  swiftness
  •  canter
  •  stepping
  •  pass
  •  date back
  •  tread
  •  gait
  •  rates
  •  jog
  •  tramp
  •  step
  •  antedate
  •  clip
  •  stride
  •  celerity
  •  antecede
  •  move
  •  time
  •  traipse
  •  ambulate
  •  trudge
  •  rate
  •  measure
  •  walk
  •  speed

There are also several different words that have the opposite meaning of the word paste. These opposite words are known as antonyms. Learning antonyms is another great way to expand your English language vocabulary quickly and easily. These antonyms of pace are also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  stay
  •  give way
  •  catch the bus
  •  crawl
  •  cheerful
  •  amble
  •  deceleration
  •  sit
  •  synchronize
  •  awkwardness
  •  not moving
  •  cumbersomeness
  •  moto
  •  lag
  •  inconvenience
  •  shuffle
  •  hobble
  •  calculation
  •  stop progress
  •  stay put
  •  clumsiness

How can the word pace be used in a sentence?

The word pace can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to remember their definitions and add them to your everyday vocabulary. To learn new words you could also try making flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge of different definitions. Try to use this word of the day in a sentence today! You never know, it could become a new favorite word. Below are several examples of the word pace to help get you started. 

The sprinter took fast paces in her drills, zipping from one end of the track to the other.

The old tree had a slow pace of change, and when it finally had to be uprooted because of rotting roots, the children who had climbed on it for the past fifty years paid due respect.

The principal paces back and forth along the quad, observing the students. He comes upon his rival, a young man with no regard for authority, and stops his movement. He is certain that if he waits there long enough, he can get him in trouble for something. 

The professor taught his lectures at such a brisk pace that no one could keep up. When various students complained that their own pace could not keep up with the pace of the lecturer, he told them that was the standard they needed to meet to pass the class.

The journalist was shocked at the breakneck pace of events unfolding before her. This was going to be the best story she had ever broken – and the fastest, at this great rate.

Overall, the word pace can either be used as a noun or verb to refer to the rate of speed of something or to mean to walk back and forth somewhere. This word is Latin in origin.


  1. Pace definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. pace | Origin and meaning of pace | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. Pace synonyms – 1 144 Words and Phrases for Pace | Power Thesaurus 
  4. Pace antonyms – 21 Opposites of Pace | Power Thesaurus 
  5. pace: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense