General English



  • noun the speed at which a ball is delivered by a bowler
    Citation ‘If a batsman misjudges the pace of the ball he often loses his wicket’ (Badminton 1888)
    Citation ‘Tait lacks that sliding foot-cross that enabled Thommo to maintain height at delivery and generate his extreme pace and lethal bounce’ (John Benaud, Cricinfo Magazine July 2006)
  • noun the extent to which the wicket affects the speed of the ball when it pitches
    Citation ‘He made the best use of the green, moist pitch that almost throughout was of uncertain pace’ (WCM April 1984)
  • noun fast bowling
    Citation ‘Indian cricket, from being a theatre of pace, at times raw pace against exuberant batting … was becoming measured batting against wily spin’ (Bose 1990)
    Citation ‘He seemed troubled only once, in Australia, by the pace of Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller in 1951–1952’ (B C Pires, obituary for Sir Clyde Walcott, Guardian 28 August 2006)
    Citation ‘By lunch, the jam-packed ground was buzzing after England’s pace foursome had the visitors half out for 97 on a responsive pitch’ (David Frith, Wisden 2006)


  • noun a single movement of a foot when walking
  • noun the distance which a person’s foot moves when walking one pace


  • noun the speed at which someone or something moves, especially when walking or running

Origin & History of “pace”

Latin passus ‘step’, the source of English pace (and also ultimately of English pass), denoted etymologically a ‘stretch of the leg’. It was based on passus, the past participle of the verb pandere ‘stretch’ (source also of English expand and spawn). English acquired it via Old French pas, and at first used it not just for ‘step’ and ‘rate of movement’, but also for a ‘mountain defile’. In this last sense, though, it has since the early modern English period been converted to pass, partly through reassociation with French pas, partly through the influence of the verb pass.