[ pees ]
/ pis /



(used to express greeting or farewell or to request quietness or silence).

verb (used without object), peaced, peac·ing.

Obsolete. to be or become silent.


Origin of peace

1125–75; Middle English pes < Old French, variant of pais < Latin pax (stem pāc-); akin to pact

Related forms

Can be confused

peace piece Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for keep the peace


/ (piːs) /



(intr) mainly obsolete to be or become silent or still

Word Origin for peace

C12: from Old French pais, from Latin pāx
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with keep the peace (1 of 2)

keep the peace

Maintain public order; prevent strife. For example, President Clinton ordered troops to Bosnia to keep the peace. This expression dates from the 1400s and was originally used more in the first sense, that is, of police keeping public order. It gained extra currency in the second half of the 1900s when military forces were sent to diverse places—Lebanon, Haiti, Bosnia—to stop warring factions.

Idioms and Phrases with keep the peace (2 of 2)


In addition to the idiom beginning with peace

  • peace and quiet

also see:

  • at peace
  • hold one's tongue (peace)
  • keep the peace
  • leave someone in peace
  • make one's peace with
  • make peace
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.