per contra


per con·​tra (ˌ)pər-ˈkän-trə How to pronounce per contra (audio)
: on the contrary
: by way of contrast
: as an offset

Did you know?

Luca Pacioli knew a thing or two about keeping the records straight. He was a Franciscan friar and mathematician who lived during the Italian Renaissance (he was, in fact, a friend of Leonardo da Vinci), and he is called the "father of accounting" because he was the first to publish a detailed description of bookkeeping practices that are still used today. Among his other counsel, Pacioli advised merchants to keep an accurate ledger with debits entered on the left side and credits on the right. The word per contra calls to mind this time-honored practice of balancing items on one side of a ledger against those on the other. The term comes from Italian, and it translates literally as "by the opposite side (of the ledger)."

Word History


Italian, by the opposite side (of the ledger)

First Known Use

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of per contra was in 1554


Dictionary Entries Near per contra

Cite this Entry

“Per contra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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