Definition of set the pace in US English:

set the pace

phrase

  • 1Be the fastest runner in the early part of a race.

    • ‘The 31-year-old set the pace throughout the race and finished strongly to cross the line in two hours 08.31 minutes, a new championship record time.’
    • ‘Banjo Picker earned his second stakes win after setting the pace in the six-furlong race for three-year-olds and older.’
    • ‘In the women's race, first-leg runner Eyerusalem Kuma set the pace for the Ethiopians, who cruised to victory in 2: 11: 54.’
    • ‘But it's a new day with North Carolina A&T State University's race team setting the pace as a history-making program.’
    • ‘But it was Van den Hoogenband, the oldest man in the race, who set the pace, pulling a few inches ahead of the Australian as they neared the end of the first 50 metres and touching in 24.44sec.’
    • ‘The winner set the pace while racing a bit off the rail early, then was moved inside in the final turn.’
    • ‘Liven On a Prayer set the pace in the six-furlong race and opened a 1 1/2-length lead in early stretch.’
    • ‘Patty, who has already conquered the New York Marathon, set the pace and led from start to finish, as usual.’
    • ‘We go jogging at 5.15 am and he leads the way and sets the pace.’
    • ‘Racing at Pioneer Park on Saturday was tailored for the front runners, when in all four races the horse that set the pace prevailed.’
    1. 1.1 Lead the way in doing or achieving something.
      ‘space movies have set the pace for the development of special effects’
      • ‘About 750,000 people smoke in Greater Manchester and we are setting the pace by doing something about it.’
      • ‘Mr Fuller is one of only two farmers in the UK to be selected to receive an award this year, which recognises those who are setting the pace in modern agriculture.’
      • ‘The Tampa Bay area's biggest public companies are setting the pace for recovery in a strengthening economy.’
      • ‘That rate sets the pace for many consumer loans, especially the prime rate, at most retail banks.’
      • ‘The group repeats a chorus or claps while a lead singer or drummer sets the pace.’
      • ‘Hong Kong action movies have been setting the pace for the rest of the world for more than a decade.’
      • ‘Why should we let a man who has never led a strike in his life set the pace of our dispute?’
      • ‘Paisley boy and upcoming talent Paolo Nutini strutted on to the main stage at 1.30 pm yesterday to rapturous applause, exuding a confidence far exceeding his 19 years, setting the pace and tone for the line-up to follow.’
      • ‘In the early days of FM radio, the AM dial was still setting the pace, so FM was a place where it didn't matter much what you played or how you filled your timeslot.’
      • ‘Councillors should be setting the pace on behalf of the people.’