Dictionary.com

per

[ pur; unstressed per ]
/ pɜr; unstressed pər /
Save This Word!

preposition
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.
adverb
Informal. each; for each one: The charge for window-washing was five dollars per.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of per

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

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.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH per

per , purr (see usage note at the current entry)

Other definitions for per (2 of 4)

per-

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-

From Latin, combining form of per, and used as an intensive; per

Other definitions for per (3 of 4)

per.

abbreviation
percentile.
period.
person.

Other definitions for per (4 of 4)

Per.

abbreviation
Persia.
Persian.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use per in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for per (1 of 3)

per
/ (pɜː, unstressed ) /

determiner
for everythree pence per pound
preposition
(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)

PER

abbreviation for (in Britain)
Professional Employment Register

British Dictionary definitions for per (3 of 3)

per-

prefix

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

Medical definitions for per

per-

pref.
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.
FEEDBACK