per [pur; unstressed per] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for per on preposition

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


  1. 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 Can be confusedper purr (see usage note at the current entry)Usage note 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. per-

  1. a prefix meaning “through,” “thoroughly,” “utterly,” “very”: pervert; pervade; perfect.
  2. 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 per.

  1. percentile.
  2. period.
  3. person.


  1. Persia.
  2. Persian.

Related Words for per by, through, apiece, each, for, to, via Examples from the Web for per Contemporary Examples of per

  • Bitcoin began 2013 with a roaring price of $770 per unit, and businesses right and left were converting to the ethereal product.

    You Were Wrong About Miley & Bitcoin: 2014’s Failed Predictions

    Nina Strochlic

    December 31, 2014

  • In 2013, with a similar-size budget but more detainees, the cost worked out to about $2.7 million per detainee.

    Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec 21

    December 21, 2014

  • Try 21 times more likely—31 per million as opposed to 1.5 per million for whites.

    The NY Police Union’s Vile War with Mayor De Blasio

    Michael Tomasky

    December 21, 2014

  • For comparison, inmates at high-security federal prisons cost about $34,000 per year on average, as of 2012.

    Fact-Checking the Sunday Shows: Dec 21

    December 21, 2014

  • For example, since 2011 it has been adding 30 per cent more capacity per year on flights to Puerto Rico.

    Goodbye, Bahamas. Hello, Havana!

    Clive Irving

    December 18, 2014

  • Historical Examples of per

  • The first of these motives is a stream of copious abuse, as in Per.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • It is a fortunate grocer who is able to collect 80 per cent.

    Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5

    Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences

  • It gave a residue on ignition amounting only to 1.6 per cent.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 447, July 26, 1884


  • This would be a sustaining capacity of 48 pounds per horsepower.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Here we have the equivalent of exactly 24 pounds per horsepower.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • British Dictionary definitions for per per determiner

    1. for everythree pence per pound


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

    Word Origin for per C15: from Latin: by, for each PER abbreviation for (in Britain)

    1. Professional Employment Register

    per- prefix

    1. throughpervade
    2. throughoutperennial
    3. away, beyondperfidy
    4. completely, throughlyperplex
    5. (intensifier)perfervid
    6. indicating that a chemical compound contains a high proportion of a specified elementperoxide; perchloride
    7. indicating that a chemical element is in a higher than usual state of oxidationpermanganate; perchlorate
    8. (not in technical usage) a variant of peroxy- persulphuric acid

    Word Origin for per- from Latin per through Word Origin and History for per prep.

    1580s (earlier in various Latin and French phrases), from Latin per “through, during, by means of, on account of, as in,” from PIE root *per- (1) “Base of prepositions and preverbs with the basic meanings of ‘forward,’ ‘through,’ and a wide range of extended senses such as ‘in front of,’ ‘before,’ ‘early,’ ‘first,’ ‘chief,’ ‘toward,’ ‘against,’ ‘near,’ ‘at,’ ‘around'” [Watkins]. Cf. Sanskrit pari- “around, about, through,” pura “before, formerly;” Avestan pairi- “around,” paro “before;” Old Persian pariy; Hittite para- “on, forth;” Greek peri “around, about, near, beyond,” paros “before,” para “from beside, beyond,” pro “before;” Latin pro “before, for, on behalf of, instead of,” porro “forward,” prae “before;” Old English fore (prep.) “before, in front of;” (adv.) “before, previously;” German vor “for;” Old Church Slavonic pra-dedu “great-grandfather;” Russian pere- “through;” Lithuanian per “through;” Old Irish air- Gothic fair-, German ver-, Old English fer-, intensive prefixes.


    word-forming element meaning “through, throughout; thoroughly; entirely, utterly,” from Latin preposition per (see per (prep.)).

    per in Medicine per- pref.

    1. Thoroughly; completely; intensely:perfuse.
    2. Containing an element in its highest oxidation state:perchloric acid.
    3. Containing a large or the largest possible proportion of an element:peroxide.
    4. Containing the peroxy group:peracid.

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