set the pace

set the pace


  1. a rate of movement, especially in stepping, walking, etc.: to walk at a brisk pace of five miles an hour.
  2. a rate of activity, progress, growth, performance, etc.; tempo.
  3. any of various standard linear measures, representing the space naturally measured by the movement of the feet in walking: roughly 30 to 40 inches (75 cm to 1 meter).Compare geometrical pace, military pace, Roman pace.
  4. a single step: She took three paces in the direction of the door.
  5. the distance covered in a step: Stand six paces inside the gates.
  6. a manner of stepping; gait.
  7. a gait of a horse or other animal in which the feet on the same side are lifted and put down together.
  8. any of the gaits of a horse.
  9. a raised step or platform.

verb (used with object), paced, pac·ing.

  1. to set the pace for, as in racing.
  2. to traverse or go over with steps: He paced the floor nervously.
  3. to measure by paces.
  4. to train to a certain pace; exercise in pacing: to pace a horse.
  5. (of a horse) to run (a distance) at a pace: Hanover II paced a mile.

verb (used without object), paced, pac·ing.

  1. to take slow, regular steps.
  2. to walk up and down nervously, as to expend nervous energy.
  3. (of a horse) to go at a pace.


  1. put through one’s paces, to cause someone to demonstrate his or her ability or to show her or his skill: The French teacher put her pupils through their paces for the visitors.
  2. set the pace, to act as an example for others to equal or rival; be the most progressive or successful: an agency that sets the pace in advertising.


    1. a single step in walking
    2. the distance covered by a step
  1. a measure of length equal to the average length of a stride, approximately 3 feetSee also Roman pace, geometric pace, military pace
  2. speed of movement, esp of walking or running
  3. rate or style of proceeding at some activityto live at a fast pace
  4. manner or action of stepping, walking, etc; gait
  5. any of the manners in which a horse or other quadruped walks or runs, the three principal paces being the walk, trot, and canter (or gallop)
  6. a manner of moving, natural to the camel and sometimes developed in the horse, in which the two legs on the same side of the body are moved and put down at the same time
  7. architect a step or small raised platform
  8. keep pace with to proceed at the same speed as
  9. put someone through his paces to test the ability of someone
  10. set the pace to determine the rate at which a group runs or walks or proceeds at some other activity
  11. stand the pace or stay the pace to keep up with the speed or rate of others


  1. (tr) to set or determine the pace for, as in a race
  2. (often foll by about, up and down, etc) to walk with regular slow or fast paces, as in boredom, agitation, etcto pace the room
  3. (tr often foll by out) to measure by pacesto pace out the distance
  4. (intr) to walk with slow regular stridesto pace along the street
  5. (intr) (of a horse) to move at the pace (the specially developed gait)


  1. with due deference to: used to acknowledge politely someone who disagrees with the speaker or writer

n acronym for (in England and Wales)

  1. Police and Criminal Evidence Act

n.late 13c., “a step in walking; rate of motion,” from Old French pas “a step, pace, trace,” and directly from Latin passus, passum “a step, pace, stride,” noun use of past participle of pandere “to stretch (the leg), spread out,” probably from PIE *pat-no-, from root *pete- “to spread” (cf. Greek petannynai “to spread out,” petalon “a leaf,” patane “plate, dish;” Old Norse faðmr “embrace, bosom,” Old English fæðm “embrace, bosom, fathom,” Old Saxon fathmos “the outstretched arms”). Also, “a measure of five feet” [Johnson]. Pace-setter in fashion is from 1895. prep.“with the leave of,” 1863, from Latin pace, ablative of pax “peace,” as in pace tua “with all deference to you;” from PIE *pak- “to fasten” (see pax). “Used chiefly as a courteous or ironical apology for a contradiction or difference of opinion” [OED]. v.1510s, “to walk at a steady rate,” from pace (n.). Meaning “to measure by pacing” is from 1570s. That of “to set the pace for” (another) is from 1886. Related: Paced; pacing. Establish a standard for others to follow, as in Jim has set the pace for the department, exceeding the monthly quota every time. This expression comes from racing, where it is said of a horse that passes the others and leads the field. It was transferred to other activities in the early 1900s. see change of pace; keep pace; put someone through his or her paces; set the pace; snail’s pace.

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