per se

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: perse and Perse

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin per (by itself), from per (by, through) and (itself, himself, herself, themselves).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

per se (not comparable)

  1. necessarily
  2. In and of itself; by itself; without consideration of extraneous factors.
    As your substitute teacher, my issue is not about your respect for me per se, but to see that you are not causing disruptions for other students or giving me a bad impression of yourself.
  3. (chiefly in negative polarity environments) As such; as one would expect from the name.
    Well, that's not correct per se, but the situation is something like that.
  4. (law) Not leaving discretion to the judge to take into account additional factors that could rebut the judgment, deriving the qualification from the statute.
    The law makes drunk driving illegal per se.
    • 1981, Hugh Laurence Ross, Deterrence of the Drinking Driver: An International Survey[1], Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Transportation, page 80:
      Until recently Denmark hesitated to adopt a formal per se law, preferring to give more discretion to its judges, but the general practice was to take blood tests and to convict those accused under the classical law if the blood alcohol concentration was greater than 100 mg./100 ml.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Because this is originally a Latin phrase, it is sometimes italicized when it is written.

Quotations[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (obsolete since spelling reform of 1995) persé

Etymology[edit]

From Latin per (by itself), from per (by, through) and (itself, himself, herself, themselves).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /pɛrˈseː/
  • (file)

Adverb[edit]

per se

  1. necessarily, absolutely, without fail
  2. on purpose
  3. (rare) per se

Usage notes[edit]

The ‘necessity’ meaning is the usual one; the original Latin meaning as in English is rarely used and can be misunderstood.

Anagrams[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Adverb[edit]

per se (not comparable)

  1. per se (without considering extraneous factors)