Definition of pace from Merriam-Webster:

(Entry 3 of 3): contrary to the opinion of — usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion.

The MW provides the following example sentence, in which "pace" is used after a comma for a parenthetical purpose.

  • Easiness is a virtue in grammar, pace old-fashioned grammarians.

The English Oxford Living Dictionaries also provides the similar examples sentences, like Merriam-Webster; the preposition "pace" is used for a parenthetical purpose:

  • ‘narrative history, pace some theorists, is by no means dead’

  • ‘And none of these - pace your earlier comments - have gimps, do they?’

  • ‘Legislation development services, pace my learned friend's submissions, clearly can include some forms of advertising.’

My Question: is this the only way to use the preposition "pace"? or there are uses of it other than using it merely for a parenthetical purpose.

1 Answer 1


Yes, that’s the most common usage. From OLD:


used before a person’s name to express polite disagreement with what they have said:

  • The evidence suggests, pace Professor Jones, that… (= Professor Jones has a different opinion)

As noted in Etymonline, Pace (prep.):

"with the leave of," 1863, from Latin pace, ablative of pax "peace," as in pace tua "with all deference to you;" from PIE root *pag- "to fasten." "Used chiefly as a courteous or ironical apology for a contradiction or difference of opinion" [OED].


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