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Origin of per diem
Words nearby per diem
What does per diem mean?
A per diem is a daily allowance of money given to employees to cover expenses, typically while traveling or working away from home. A per diem is intended to cover things like meals and travel expenses.
The phrase per diem comes from Latin, in which it means “by the day.” It can be used in a general way in English to mean exactly that, as in You’ll be paid per diem. It can also be used as an adjective meaning paid per day, as in This is a per diem position. In this way, it’s typically used in the context of workers who work on an “as needed” basis—they get called in to work when they are needed, and they get paid for each day, as opposed to earning a fixed salary.
Example: When sales reps go on their first big trip, they’re often tempted to blow their entire per diem on a fancy dinner.
Where does per diem come from?
The first records of per diem in English come from around 1500. It was borrowed into English directly from Latin. The first records of its use as a noun referring to a daily allowance are from the 1800s.
If you travel for work, you’re typically not expected to cover your own lodging, food, and other necessities. Instead, you’re given a per diem. A per diem can be drawn from a corporate account. More commonly, you pay and then get reimbursed for the money you’ve spent, typically up to a certain limit—so go easy on the steak and champagne dinners. (But not too easy—you’re working hard and you’ve earned it.)
When used as an adjective, per diem means “paid by day.” Some workers, such as contract nurses or substitute teachers, work in a per diem capacity, meaning they are only called in when they are needed—on a day-by-day basis. They are paid per diem (which should not be confused with being paid a per diem, as in the paragraph above).
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What are some other forms related to per diem?
- per diems (plural)
What are some synonyms for per diem?
What are some words that share a root or word element with per diem?
What are some words that often get used in discussing per diem?
What are some words per diem may be commonly confused with?
How is per diem used in real life?
Per diem is most often used as a noun referring to a daily allowance for travel expenses, especially in the fields of transportation, entertainment, and government.
My boss: you are taking a road trip in a beautiful car, you have a nice per diem every day, go eat in a high-end restaurant
I stopped and snagged a $10 meal at TacoTime
— Todd (@addictionguy) December 30, 2019
Open MRI facility just called me to officially offer me the per diem position 😄🙌 They'll call me Monday to discuss pay. I almost passed out on the phone
— Jess 🦥 (@jessblazecos) February 16, 2018
Try using per diem!
Which of the following things does a per diem usually cover?
- travel expenses
- all of the above
Example sentences from the Web for per diem
He advised the per-diem scheme, and with characteristic good nature we acceded to it.
This looked reasonable enough, but the result was wholly in favor of the per-diem fellows.
British Dictionary definitions for per diem
- an allowance for daily expenses, usually those incurred while working
- (as modifier)a per-diem allowance