put through one's paces


1 [peys]
a rate of movement, especially in stepping, walking, etc.: to walk at a brisk pace of five miles an hour.
a rate of activity, progress, growth, performance, etc.; tempo.
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.
a single step: She took three paces in the direction of the door.
the distance covered in a step: Stand six paces inside the gates.
a manner of stepping; gait.
a gait of a horse or other animal in which the feet on the same side are lifted and put down together.
any of the gaits of a horse.
a raised step or platform.
verb (used with object), paced, pacing.
to set the pace for, as in racing.
to traverse or go over with steps: He paced the floor nervously.
to measure by paces.
to train to a certain pace; exercise in pacing: to pace a horse.
(of a horse) to run (a distance) at a pace: Hanover II paced a mile.
verb (used without object), paced, pacing.
to take slow, regular steps.
to walk up and down nervously, as to expend nervous energy.
(of a horse) to go at a pace.
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.
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.

1250–1300; Middle English pas < Old French < Latin passus step, pace, equivalent to pad-, variant stem of pandere to spread (the legs, in walking) + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > ss

8. step, amble, rack, trot, jog, canter, gallop, walk, run, singlefoot. 15. Pace, plod, trudge refer to a steady and monotonous kind of walking. Pace suggests steady, measured steps as of one completely lost in thought or impelled by some distraction: to pace up and down. Plod implies a slow, heavy, laborious, weary walk: The mailman plods his weary way. Trudge implies a spiritless but usually steady and doggedly persistent walk: The farmer trudged to his village to buy his supplies.

15. scurry, scamper, skip.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pace1 (peɪs)
1.  a.  a single step in walking
 b.  the distance covered by a step
2.  Roman pace geometric pace See also military pace a measure of length equal to the average length of a stride, approximately 3 feet
3.  speed of movement, esp of walking or running
4.  rate or style of proceeding at some activity: to live at a fast pace
5.  manner or action of stepping, walking, etc; gait
6.  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)
7.  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
8.  architect a step or small raised platform
9.  keep pace with to proceed at the same speed as
10.  put someone through his paces to test the ability of someone
11.  set the pace to determine the rate at which a group runs or walks or proceeds at some other activity
12.  stand the pace, stay the pace to keep up with the speed or rate of others
vb (often foll by about, up and down, etc) (often foll by out)
13.  (tr) to set or determine the pace for, as in a race
14.  to walk with regular slow or fast paces, as in boredom, agitation, etc: to pace the room
15.  to measure by paces: to pace out the distance
16.  (intr) to walk with slow regular strides: to pace along the street
17.  (intr) (of a horse) to move at the pace (the specially developed gait)
[C13: via Old French from Latin passūs step, from pandere to spread, unfold, extend (the legs as in walking)]

pace2 (ˈpeɪsɪ, English ˈpɑːkɛ)
with due deference to: used to acknowledge politely someone who disagrees with the speaker or writer
[C19: from Latin, from pāx peace]

PACE (peɪs)
n acronym for
Police and Criminal Evidence Act

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"a step," late 13c., from O.Fr. pas, from L. passus "a step," lit. pp. of pandere "to stretch (the leg), spread out," from PIE *pat-no-, from base *pete- "to spread" (cf. Gk. petalon "a leaf," O.E. fæðm "embrace, bosom, fathom"). The verb is first attested 1510s, from the noun. Also, "a measure
of five feet" [Johnson]. Pace-setter in fashion is from 1895.

"with the leave of," 1863, from L. pace, abl. of pax "peace," as in pace tua "with all deference to you;" from PIE *pak- "to fasten" (see pax).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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