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per diem

[per dee-uh m, dahy-uh m]
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adverb
  1. by the day; for each day.
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adjective
  1. paid by the day.
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noun
  1. a daily allowance, usually for living expenses while traveling in connection with one's work or being employed at a distance from one's home: a per diem for lawmakers while the legislature is in session.
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Origin of per diem

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1510–20
Can be confusedper annum per capita per diem
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

daily

Examples from the Web for per diem

Historical Examples

  • He advised the per-diem scheme, and with characteristic good nature we acceded to it.

    The House

    Eugene Field

  • This looked reasonable enough, but the result was wholly in favor of the per-diem fellows.

    The House

    Eugene Field


British Dictionary definitions for per diem

per diem

adverb
  1. every day or by the day
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noun
    1. an allowance for daily expenses, usually those incurred while working
    2. (as modifier)a per-diem allowance
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Word Origin

from Latin
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 diem

Latin, literally "by the day," from per (see per) + diem, accusative singular of dies "day" (see diurnal). As a noun from 1809.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

per diem in Culture

per diem

[(puhr dee-uhm, deye-uhm)]

A Latin phrase meaning “by the day.” Traveling sales reps or government workers often are paid a per diem, meaning an allowance out of which to cover daily expenses while traveling.

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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.