Definition of pace noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//peɪs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//peɪs//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [singular, uncountable] the speed at which somebody/something walks, runs or moves to set off at a steady/gentle/leisurely pace Congestion frequently reduces traffic to walking pace. The ball gathered pace as it rolled down the hill. The runners have noticeably quickened their pace. See related entries: Athletics
  2. 2  [singular, uncountable] pace (of something) the speed at which something happens It is difficult to keep up with the rapid pace of change. We encourage all students to work at their own pace (= as fast or as slow as they can). I prefer the relaxed pace of life in the country. Rumours of corruption and scandal gathered pace (= increased in number).
  3. 3  [countable] an act of stepping once when walking or running; the distance travelled when doing this synonym step She took two paces forward. To be a really good runner he needs to lengthen his pace a little. Competitors must stand at a distance of 20 paces from each other.
  4. 4[uncountable] the fact of something happening, changing, etc. quickly He gave up his job in advertising because he couldn't stand the pace. The novel lacks pace (= it develops too slowly). a pace bowler (= in cricket, a person who bowls the ball fast)
  5. see also pacy
    Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French pas, from Latin passus ‘stretch (of the leg)’, from pandere ‘to stretch’.Extra examples He’s a skilful player with a good turn of pace. I set off at a snail’s pace to conserve my energy for later in the race. I stopped a few paces from the edge of the cliff. I try to get away at weekends for a change of pace. She kept up a pace of ten miles an hour. Step back three paces. Take two paces forward. The pace of change means that equipment has to be constantly replaced. The pace of life is much slower on the islands. The project had a slow start, but is now gathering pace. The students work at their own pace. The younger children struggled to keep pace with the older ones. They set off at a blistering pace. Thinking that she was being followed, she quickened her pace. Two bodyguards remained a couple of paces behind the president throughout the walkabout. You shouldn’t have such a job if you can’t stand the pace. the slow pace of economic reform Competitors must stand at a distance of twenty paces from each other. He gave up his job in advertising because he couldn’t stand the pace I prefer the more relaxed pace of life in the country. Jean followed a few paces behind. Rumours of corruption and scandal gathered pace. The novel lacks pace. Traffic was reduced to walking pace. We encourage all students to work at their own pace. You can get a device that counts how many paces you take in an average day.Idioms very slowly Traffic had slowed to a snail’s pace. See related entries: Gardening
      force the pace (especially British English)
      jump to other results
    1. 1to run very fast in a race in order to make the other people taking part run faster
    2. 2to make somebody do something faster than they want to The demonstrations have succeeded in forcing the pace of change.
    go through your paces, show your paces
    jump to other results
    to perform a particular activity in order to show other people what you are capable of doing We watched the horses going through their paces. The British team showed its paces during a training session in the hotel pool.
    keep pace (with somebody/something)
    jump to other results
    to move, increase, change, etc. at the same speed as somebody/something She found it hard to keep pace with him as he strode off. Until now, wage increases have always kept pace with inflation. The company is struggling to keep pace with changes in the market.
    (in sport) behind the leader or the leading group in a race or a competition Tiger Woods is still three shots off the pace (= in golf).
    put somebody/something through their/its paces
    jump to other results
    to give somebody/something a number of tasks to perform in order to see what they are capable of doing Youngsters will be put through their paces by qualified instructors. We sent our reporter to put Ford’s newest model through its paces.
    1. 1to do something at a particular speed or to a particular standard so that other people are then forced to copy it if they want to be successful The company is no longer setting the pace in the home computer market.
    2. 2(in a race) to run faster than the other people taking part, at a speed that they then try to copy Willis set the pace for the first mile.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pace