A Dictionary of the English Language
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Pace (noun)

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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1437

Pace. n.s. [pas, French.]

  1. Step; single movement in walking.

                    Behind her death,
    Close following pace for pace, not mounted yet
    On his pale horse.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. x.

  2. Gait; manner of walk.

    He himself went but a kind of languishing pace, with his eyes sometimes cast up to heaven, as though his fancies strove to mount higher. Sidney.

    He saw Menalcas come with heavy pace;
    Wet were his eyes, and chearless was his face.
    Addison.

  3. Degree of celerity. To keep pace, is not to be left behind.

    To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to-day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusky death.
    Shakesp. Macbeth.

                    Bring me word
    How the world goes, that to the pace of it
    I may spur on my journey.
    Shakesp. Coriolanus.

    His teachers were fain to restrain his forwardness; that his brothers, under the same training, might hold pace with him. Wotton's Buckingham.

    The beggar sings ev'n when he sees the place,
    Beset with thieves, and never mends his pace.
    Dryden.

                Just as much
    He mended pace upon the touch.
    Hudibras, p. i.

    Marcia could answer thee in sighs, keep pace
    With all thy woes, and count out tear for tear.
    Addison.

    Hudibras applied his spur to one side of his horse, as not doubting but the other would keep pace with it. Addison.

  4. Step; gradation of business. A gallicism.

    The first pace necessary for his majesty to make, is to fall into confidence with Spain. Temple.

  5. A measure of five feet. The quantity supposed to be measured by the foot from the place where it is taken up to that where it is set down.

    Measuring land by walking over it, they styled a double step; i. e. the space from the elevation of one foot, to the same foot set down again, mediated by a step of the other foot; a pace equal to five foot; a thousand of which paces made a mile. Holder on Time.

    The violence of tempests never moves the sea above six paces deep. Wilkin's Math. Magic.

  6. A particular movement which horses are taught, though some have it naturally, made by lifting the legs on the same side together.

    They rode, but authors having not
    Determin'd whether pace or trot;
    That's to say, whether tollutation,
    As they do term it, or succussation.
    Hudibras.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Butler, Samuel (98) · Shakespeare's Coriolanus (80) · Dryden, John (788) · Holder, William (38) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Temple, William (54) · Wilkins, John (32) · Wotton, Henry (48)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Pace (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 20, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=12657.


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