[ peer-ee ]

noun,plural pe·ris.Persian Mythology.
  1. one of a large group of beautiful, fairylike beings of Persian mythology, represented as descended from fallen angels and excluded from paradise until their penance is accomplished.

  2. any lovely, graceful person.

Origin of peri

1770–80; <Persian perī, variant of parī fairy, Middle Persian parīk,Avestan pairikā witch

Other definitions for Peri (2 of 3)

[ pe-ree ]

  1. Ja·co·po [yah-kaw-paw], /ˈyɑ kɔ pɔ/, 1561–1633, Italian composer.

Other definitions for peri- (3 of 3)


  1. a prefix meaning “about” or “around” (perimeter, periscope), “enclosing” or “surrounding” (pericardium), and “near” (perigee, perihelion), appearing in loanwords from Greek (peripeteia); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (perimorph).

Origin of peri-

<Greek, prefixal use of perí (adv. and preposition) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use peri in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for peri (1 of 2)


/ (ˈpɪərɪ) /

nounplural -ris
  1. (in Persian folklore) one of a race of beautiful supernatural beings

  2. any beautiful fairy-like creature

Origin of peri

C18: from Persian: fairy, from Avestan pairikā witch

British Dictionary definitions for peri- (2 of 2)


  1. enclosing, encircling, or around: pericardium; pericarp; perigon

  2. near or adjacent: perihelion

Origin of peri-

from Greek peri around, near, about

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

Scientific definitions for peri-


  1. A prefix that means: “around” (as in pericardium,) or “near” (as in perihelion).

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.