[ puh-sif-ik ]
/ pəˈsɪf ɪk /
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the Pacific. Pacific Ocean.
Pacific. a steam locomotive having a four-wheeled front truck, six driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.
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Origin of pacific

First recorded in 1540–50; from Middle French pacifique, from Latin pācificus, literally, “peacemaking,” equivalent to pāci- (combining form of pāx “peace”) + -ficus adjective suffix; see origin at peace, -fic


non·pa·cif·ic, adjectiveun·pa·cif·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does pacific mean?

The adjective pacific means peaceful, calm, tranquil, or nonviolent.

When capitalized, Pacific is best known as the name of the Pacific Ocean, often simply called the Pacific.

The adjective pacific is not used nearly as often as some of its common synonyms, such as peaceful.

Example: While their neighbors were known as warriors, the tribe was pacific, specializing in trade.

Where does pacific come from?

The first records of pacific come from the mid-1500s. It comes from the Latin pācificus, meaning “peacemaking.” Its ultimate root, the Latin pāx (meaning “peace”), is also the basis of peace.

The Pacific Ocean was named by navigator Ferdinand Magellan in Portuguese as Mar Pacifico, meaning “peaceful sea,” due to the fact that its waters were calm when he first reached it. The word Pacific in relation to the ocean can also be used to identify the places that border it, as in Pacific coast and Pacific region.

The adjective pacific can be used to describe other things as calm or tranquil, especially outdoor spaces or even other bodies of water. More commonly, it can be used to describe actions intended to preserve peace, or peoples who avoid war, or periods of time without war. Still, in all these cases, the word peaceful is much more commonly used.

The related words pacifist and pacifistic refer to people who are opposed to war or violence of any kind.

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What are some other forms related to pacific?

  • nonpacific (adjective)
  • unpacific (adjective)
  • pacifically (adverb)

What are some synonyms for pacific?

What are some words that share a root or word element with pacific

What are some words that often get used in discussing pacific?

What are some words pacific may be commonly confused with?

How is pacific used in real life?

When used in reference to the ocean, Pacific can be applied as a modifier in a number of ways, including to refer to the places near it and the people who live on its islands.



Try using pacific!

Is pacific used correctly in the following sentence? 

The pacific nation often used its large military to influence neighboring countries.

How to use pacific in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pacific (1 of 2)

/ (pəˈsɪfɪk) /

tending or conducive to peace; conciliatory
not aggressive; opposed to the use of force
free from conflict; peaceful

Derived forms of pacific

pacifically, adverb

Word Origin for pacific

C16: from Old French pacifique, from Latin pācificus, from pāx peace + facere to make

British Dictionary definitions for pacific (2 of 2)

/ (pəˈsɪfɪk) /

the Pacific short for Pacific Ocean
of or relating to the Pacific Ocean or its islands
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