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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.