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per capita

[per kap-i-tuh]
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adjective, adverb
  1. by or for each individual person: income per capita.
  2. Law. noting or pertaining to a method of dividing an estate by which all those equally related to the decedent take equal shares individually without regard to the number of lines of descent.Compare per stirpes.

Origin of per capita

1675–85; < Latin: literally, by heads
Can be confusedper annum per capita per diem
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for per capita

per capita

adjective, adverb
  1. of or for each person

Word Origin

Latin, literally: according to heads
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

Word Origin and History for per capita

Latin, literally "by the head," from per (see per) + capita "head" (see capital).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

per capita in Culture

per capita

[(puhr kap-i-tuh)]

A Latin phrase literally meaning “by heads,” and translated as “for each person.” It is a common unit for expressing data in statistics. A country's per capita personal income, for example, is the average personal income per person.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.