To put someone through one's paces
pace pace (p[=a]s), n. [OE. pas, F. pas, from L. passus a step, pace, orig., a stretching out of the feet in walking; cf. pandere, passum, to spread, stretch; perh. akin to E. patent. Cf. {Pas}, {Pass}.] 1. A single movement from one foot to the other in walking; a step. [1913 Webster]

2. The length of a step in walking or marching, reckoned from the heel of one foot to the heel of the other; -- used as a unit in measuring distances; as, he advanced fifty paces. ``The height of sixty pace .'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Note: Ordinarily the pace is estimated at two and one half linear feet; but in measuring distances be stepping, the pace is extended to three feet (one yard) or to three and three tenths feet (one fifth of a rod). The regulation marching pace in the English and United States armies is thirty inches for quick time, and thirty-six inches for double time. The Roman pace (passus) was from the heel of one foot to the heel of the same foot when it next touched the ground, five Roman feet. [1913 Webster]

3. Manner of stepping or moving; gait; walk; as, the walk, trot, canter, gallop, and amble are paces of the horse; a swaggering pace; a quick pace. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

In the military schools of riding a variety of paces are taught. --Walsh. [1913 Webster]

4. A slow gait; a footpace. [Obs.] --Chucer. [1913 Webster]

5. Specifically, a kind of fast amble; a rack. [1913 Webster]

6. Any single movement, step, or procedure. [R.] [1913 Webster]

The first pace necessary for his majesty to make is to fall into confidence with Spain. --Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster]

7. (Arch.) A broad step or platform; any part of a floor slightly raised above the rest, as around an altar, or at the upper end of a hall. [1913 Webster]

8. (Weaving) A device in a loom, to maintain tension on the warp in pacing the web. [1913 Webster]

9. The rate of progress of any process or activity; as, the students ran at a rapid pace; the plants grew at a remarkable pace. [PJC]

{Geometrical pace}, the space from heel to heel between the spot where one foot is set down and that where the same foot is again set down, loosely estimated at five feet, or by some at four feet and two fifths. See {Roman pace} in the Note under def. 2. [Obs.]

{To keep pace with} or {To hold pace with}, to keep up with; to go as fast as. ``In intellect and attainments he kept pace with his age.'' --Southey.

{To put (someone) through one's paces} to cause (someone) to perform an act so as to demonstrate his/her skill or ability. [1913 Webster +PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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