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.
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. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. (Shak) In the military schools of riding a variety of paces are taught. (Walsh)
8. A device in a loom, to maintain tension on the warp in pacing the web. 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. To keep, or hold, pace with, to keep up with; to go as fast as. In intellect and attainments he kept pace with his age.
Origin: 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.