a. A small flat tablet adorned with a sacred image that worshipers kiss when offered the kiss of peace.
b. The kiss of peace.
2. Pax A time of wide-ranging stability when there is only a single dominant power. Used with a Latinized name: "Editorials lauding the civilizing influence of Pax Britannica were met with ... a crushing disinterest from most of the public" (Nisid Hajari).
[Medieval Latin pāx, from Latin, peace; see pag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Sense 2, on the model of Late Latin pāx (Rōmāna), the Roman peace, state of security obtaining under Roman rule, alteration of Latin (Rōmāna) pāx.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus