[ pur; unstressed per ]
/ pɜr; unstressed pər /


for each; for every: Membership costs ten dollars per year. This cloth is two dollars per yard.
by means of; by; through: I am sending the recipe per messenger.
according to; in accordance with: I delivered the box per your instructions.


Informal. each; for each one: The charge for window-washing was five dollars per.

Origin of per

1580–90; < Latin: through, by, for, for each. See for


per purr (see usage note at the current entry)

usage note for per

Per for a or an or for each occurs chiefly in technical or statistical contexts: miles per gallon; work-hours per week; feet per second; gallons of beer per person per year. It is also common in sports commentary: He averaged 16 points per quarter. Per is sometimes criticized in business writing in the sense “according to” and is rare in literary writing.

Definition for per (2 of 4)


a prefix meaning “through,” “thoroughly,” “utterly,” “very”: pervert; pervade; perfect.
Chemistry. a prefix used in the names of inorganic acids and their salts that possess the maximum amount of the element specified in the base word: percarbonic (H2C2O5), permanganic (HMnO4), persulfuric (H2S2O8), acids; potassium permanganate (KMnO4); potassium persulfate (K2S2O8).

Origin of per-

< Latin, combining form of per per, and used as an intensive

Definition for per (3 of 4)

Definition for per (4 of 4) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for per

British Dictionary definitions for per (1 of 3)

/ (pɜː, unstressed ) /


for everythree pence per pound


(esp in some Latin phrases) by; through
as per according toas per specifications
as per usual informal as usual

Word Origin for per

C15: from Latin: by, for each

British Dictionary definitions for per (2 of 3)


abbreviation for (in Britain)

Professional Employment Register

British Dictionary definitions for per (3 of 3)



Word Origin for per-

from Latin per through
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

Medicine definitions for per



Thoroughly; completely; intensely:perfuse.
Containing an element in its highest oxidation state:perchloric acid.
Containing a large or the largest possible proportion of an element:peroxide.
Containing the peroxy group:peracid.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.