Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition To, for, or by each; for every.
  • preposition According to; by.
  • preposition By means of; through.
  • adverb For each one; apiece.
  • adverb Per hour.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Through; by means of.
  • A prefix of Latin origin, meaning primarily ‘through.’ See the etymology.
  • As an inseparable prefix of intensity, ‘thoroughly,’ ‘very,’ as in peracute, perfervid, pellucid; specifically, in chem., noting the maximum or an unusual amount, as peroxid, the highest oxid, or an oxid containing more oxygen than the protoxid, etc.
  • noun In petrography, in the quantitative system of classification of igneous rocks (see rock), a prefix used to form adjectives, and showing that the factor or component indicated is present in any division of igneous rocks, alone or in extreme amount — that is, that its ratio to another factor is greater than : as, peralkalic, perfelic, perfemane, perfemic, etc.
  • noun An abbreviation of period.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • preposition Through; by means of; through the agency of; by; for; for each. Per is also sometimes used with English words.
  • preposition by the year; in each successive year; annually.
  • preposition by the hundred; in the hundred; a proportion multiplied by one hundred; -- used esp. of proportions of ingredients, rate or amount of interest, and the like; most commonly used in the shortened form per cent. It is commonly symbolized with the per cent sign, "%".
  • preposition by the day.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • preposition for each
  • preposition to each, in each (used in expressing ratios of units)
  • preposition medicine via (the), by (the), through (the) (followed by Latin name for an orifice)
  • preposition in accordance with
  • pronoun neologism they (singular). Gender-neutral third-person singular subject pronoun, coordinate with gendered pronouns he and she.
  • pronoun neologism them (singular) Gender-neutral third-person singular object pronoun, grammatically equivalent to the gendered him and her.
  • adjective neologism Belonging to per, their (singular). Gender-neutral third-person singular possessive adjective, coordinate with gendered his and her.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin; see per in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin per ("through, during"), from Proto-Indo-European *per.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

shortening of person, coined by Marge Piercy in Woman on the Edge of Time (1979)

Examples

  • Kilwardby also stresses that in a per se necessity sentence, the subject must be ˜something belonging in itself to that predicate™ (˜per se aliquod ipsius predicati™), by which he seems to mean that the subject has the predicate as an essential property, i.e., such that it has the predicate as a necessary property through itself and not through something else.

    The Statue of a Writer

  • Copper prices have since risen from less than US$1 per pound to more than US$3 per pound (about �per kilogram), driven in large part by growing demand from China.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Why attacks on humans were measured in millions per incident instead of the standard #-per 100,000 people-per year?

    Cougars, Science and "Sport Hunting"

  • Why attacks on humans were measured in millions per incident instead of the standard #-per 100,000 people-per year?

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • I've seen that "5% success rate" in discovery during several nasty disputes--I'm a hired gun called in AFTER the execrement has hit the rotary air-moving device--and every time further inquiry revealed that the percentage rate was per _submission event_, not _per manuscript_.

    The Grass Is Always Greener over the Septic Tank

  • He reasons that, since the more guests he has, the smaller the cost per person, then if he can only entertain extensively enough, the cost _per caput_ will be _nil_.

    The Poet's Poet : essays on the character and mission of the poet as interpreted in English verse of the last one hundred and fifty years

  • Others read _per vos per liberos vestros_; but this is wrong, and the repetition of _per_ is bad: we never intreat persons by themselves, but by something that is dear to them.

    C. Sallusti Crispi De Bello Catilinario Et Jugurthino

  • A limit of sixteen months is assigned, within which pledges must be redeemed or they become the property of the pawnbroker; and the interest charged, formerly four per cent., is now fixed at three per cent. _per month_.

    Historic China, and other sketches

  • Peruvian guano, sulphate of ammonia, soda-saltpeter, fish and flesh manures, bones and urine, cost the farmer more money per ton than any other manures he buys or makes, superphosphate of lime excepted, and this does not find sale, for general purposes, unless it contains several _per cent. _ of nitrogen.

    Peat and its Uses as Fertilizer and Fuel

  • Many of them pay from two to eight per cent. _per month_.

    Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 454 Volume 18, New Series, September 11, 1852

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