Etymology: Middle English pas, from Anglo-French, stride, step, from Latin passus, from pandere to spread — more at fathom
Date: 14th century
a. rate of movement; especially an established rate of locomotion
b. rate of progress; specifically parallel rate of growth or development <supplies kept pace with demand> c. an example to be emulated; specifically first place in a competition <three strokes off the pace — Time> d. (1) rate of performance or delivery ; tempo <a steady pace> <on pace to set a record>; especially speed <serves with great pace> <a pace bowler in cricket> (2) rhythmic animation ; fluency <writes with color, with zest, and with pace — Amy Loveman> 2. a manner of walking ; tread 3. a. step 2a(1) b. any of various units of distance based on the length of a human step 4. a. plural an exhibition or test of skills or capacities <the trainer put the tiger through its paces> b. gait; especially a fast 2-beat gait (as of the horse) in which the legs move in lateral pairs and support the animal alternately on the right and left legs II. verb (paced; pacing) Date: 1513 intransitive verb 1. a. to walk with often slow or measured tread b. to move along ; proceed 2. to go at a pace — used especially of a horse transitive verb 1. a. to measure by pacing — often used with off <paced off a 10-yard penalty> b. to cover at a walk <could hear him pacing the floor> 2. to cover (a course) by pacing — used of a horse 3. a. to set or regulate the pace of <taught them how to pace their solos for…impact — Richard Goldstein>; also to establish a moderate or steady pace for (oneself) b. (1) to go before ; precede (2) to set an example for ; lead c. to keep pace with III. preposition Etymology: Latin, ablative of pac-, pax peace, permission — more at pact Date: 1863 contrary to the opinion of — usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion; usually italic <easiness is a virtue in grammar, pace old-fashioned grammarians — Philip Howard>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.