Definition of pacific in English:



  • 1Peaceful in character or intent.

    ‘a pacific gesture’
    • ‘As the cool water slowly soothes away my unjustified frustration, I feel my neck muscles relaxing and know my features are easing back to pacific calm.’
    • ‘Enforcing the isolation of this callow and callous ruler is the least that a humane and pacific foreign policy must aim for.’
    • ‘His face was pacific and showing a hint of content.’
    • ‘And it is hard to find anyone who speaks with administration officials off the record who believes their publicly pacific intentions.’
    • ‘Gulls fluttered above the breakers, sentries at the entrance to this more pacific kingdom.’
    • ‘Thus, even though all states may possess thoroughly pacific intentions, international competition and conflict may still arise.’
    • ‘Our government is committed… to pursue all diplomatic and political - and hence pacific - efforts to obtain satisfaction.’
    • ‘In the midst of a violent and haggard existence Thomas takes an hour out of his day to practice piano in the modest living room of a quiet, pacific piano teacher.’
    • ‘At first he was reluctant to accept my aid but once I played a soothing and pacific melody from my flute his spirit was calmed.’
    • ‘Your winning strategy is one of pacific resistance rather than dynamic offensive today.’
    • ‘I have taken many out-of-towners along this trail and they often marvel at the pacific nature of the dogs that congregate there.’
    • ‘He seemed a pacific, reform-minded monarch, and educated liberals hoped for great things from him.’
    • ‘Sadly, the Empress is quite pacific, though if her intention was to appear worshipful, she didn't quite succeed.’
    peace-loving, peaceable, pacifist, anti-war, non-violent, non-aggressive, non-belligerent, non-combative, conflict-free, mild, gentle, equable, dovelike, dovish
    conciliatory, peacemaking, placatory, placating, propitiatory, appeasing, mollifying, calming, mediatory, mediating, diplomatic
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to the Pacific Ocean.

    ‘the Pacific War’
    • ‘For years, New Zealand rugby officials have talked a great game about helping Pacific island rugby.’
    • ‘After weathering an overnight Pacific storm in Kiakoura, it seemed that our days of endless sunshine were up.’
    • ‘Route 1 is one of the great journeys in the world, a winding highway that hugs the Pacific coast up to San Francisco.’
    • ‘Three of the six existing Pacific coast buoys have had malfunctions in recent months.’
    • ‘The richest range of blue I ever saw came onboard flights throughout Pacific islands.’
    • ‘But these eastern Pacific islands are as desirable diving destinations as you'll ever find.’
    • ‘Similar problems have afflicted, to varying degrees, the five species of Pacific salmon which are listed in the box.’
    • ‘China now ranks fourth by value in the list of export markets targeted by the Pacific seaboard states of the US.’
    • ‘Paone calls the transfer of diseases between wild and caged salmon a threat to Pacific salmon stocks.’
    • ‘This method would be of special relevance to Caribbean and Pacific island nations.’
    • ‘There are French pidgins and Creoles in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Indian and Pacific oceans.’
    • ‘The lake has 2,000 miles of shoreline, more than the entire US Pacific coast.’
    • ‘The trust sends medical and educational supplies to Pacific families in need.’
    • ‘She'd been on her scheduled Western Pacific patrol when word went out that a boat was down.’
    • ‘For two years they had taught for the Peace Corps in the Pacific island country of Tuvalu, before spending a further year in Fiji.’
    • ‘The only flat, traversable region of the Isthmus is on the Pacific side - where the coastal Zapotecs live.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Hawaii was a major naval base from which we operated our Pacific fleet.’
    • ‘Their exhibition features traditional and contemporary Pacific art and carvings.’
    • ‘He promoted the welfare of Pacific peoples, especially indentured labourers.’
    • ‘Incidentally, a red sockeye Pacific salmon came out of the Leven recently, a real mystery.’


  • 1

    short for Pacific Ocean
  • 2A steam locomotive of 4-6-2 wheel arrangement.

    • ‘An F - 16 locomotive was frequently seen, and in the late forties the Pacifics brought down from Michigan were also seen frequently.’
    • ‘We have a very varied collection, from North East Colliery locomotives to world famous Pacifics such as Sir Nigel Gresley and Blue Peter.’
    • ‘Despite the beautiful alignment of the main line out of London there are some fearsome grades on most lines elsewhere on the network, and visiting Pacifics have often been in bad trouble on these sections.’
    • ‘Adhesion between steel rail and steel wheel is limited, and only about 56 tons weight could be carried on three coupled axles of the Pacifics; new locomotives, or a reduction in train loads were possibilities, but so was another rebuild.’
    • ‘During the 1940s and into 1950 most of the motive power for these trains consisted of F - 15 light Pacifics, with an occasional A - 16 Atlantic being used.’


Mid 16th century: from French pacifique or Latin pacificus peacemaking from pax, pac- peace.