ETYM Old Eng. pees, pais, Old Fren. pais, paiz, pes, French paix, Latin pax, pacis, akin to pacere, paciscere, pacisci, to make an agreement, and prob. also pangere to fasten. Related to Appease, Fair, Fay, Fang, Pacify, Pact, Pay to requite.
1. The state prevailing during the absence of war.
2. Harmonious relations; freedom from disputes.
3. The absence of mental stress or anxiety; SYN. peacefulness, peace of mind, repose, serenity, heartsease, ataraxis.
4. The general security of public places; SYN. public security.
5. A treaty to cease hostilities; SYN. peace treaty.
A concept with two distinct meanings. On the one hand it can be defined negatively as the absence of war and hostility; on the other hand it suggests the idea of harmony and wholeness achieved through a proper relationship with God.
Attempts to achieve the cessation of war have taken varying and sometimes paradoxical forms. The 200-year Pax Romana of the Roman Empire (from the reign of Augustus to that of Marcus Aurelius, 27 bc–ad 180) was achieved through military strength, and military parity between states is often cited as a guarantee of peace. On the other hand, pacifism—the belief that no violence can be justified—has been central to many faiths including Jainism, Buddhism, and the Quakers. The Jain concept of ahimsa, respect for all living things, was an influence on Gandhi. For Muslims and Jews, peace is an ideal of social well-being as well as an aspect of the Godhead, and their respective word for it, sala’am and shalom, is the customary greeting between the faithful.
River formed in British Columbia, Canada, by the union at Finlay Forks of the Finlay and Parsnip rivers and flowing through the Rocky Mountains and across Alberta to join the river Slave just N of Lake Athabasca; length 1,600 km/1,000 mi.