American English

Definition of pace noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    see also pace2
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  1. 1[singular, uncountable] the speed at which someone or 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.
  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 (= at the speed which is best for them). I prefer the relaxed pace of life in the country. rumors of corruption and scandal gathered pace (= increased in number).
  3. 3[countable] an act of stepping once when walking or running; the distance traveled 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).
  5. Idioms
    at a snail's pace
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    very slowly
      force the pace
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    1. 1to run very fast in a race in order to make the other people taking part run faster
    2. 2to make someone do something faster than they want to The demonstrations have succeeded in forcing the pace of change.
    go through your paces, show your paces
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    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)
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    to move, increase, change, etc. at the same speed as someone or 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.
    off the pace
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    (in sports) behind the leader or the leading group in a race or a competition Mickelson is still three shots off the pace (= in golf ).
    put somebody/something through their/its paces
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    to give someone or 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.
      set the pace
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    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 Learner's Dictionary entry: pace