\ ˈpərs How to pronounce perse (audio) \

Definition of perse

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: of a dark grayish blue resembling indigo

per se

\ (ˌ)pər-ˈsā also per-ˈsā or (ˌ)pər-ˈsē How to pronounce per se (audio) \

Definition of per se (Entry 2 of 4)

: by, of, or in itself or oneself or themselves : as such : intrinsically

per se

adjective (2)

Definition of per se (Entry 3 of 4)

: being such inherently, clearly, or as a matter of law a per se conflict of interest


biographical name

Definition of Perse (Entry 4 of 4)

St. John — see Aléxis Saint-Léger léger

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Did You Know?

We generally use per se to distinguish between something in its narrow sense and some larger thing that it represents. Thus, you may have no objection to educational testing per se, but rather to the way testing is done. An opposition party may attack a president's policy not because they dislike the policy per se but because they want to weaken the president. And when New York's police chief decided to crack down on small crimes, it wasn't the small crimes per se that were his target, but instead the larger crimes which he believed would be reduced because of this new approach.

Examples of perse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There isn’t a rule against it, per se, but the fight element and its possible benefits — emphasis on possible — are as outdated as leather Tacks. BostonGlobe.com, "How New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox has already made a name for himself," 1 May 2021 Unlike the other resources in this list, accelerators and incubators are not funding programs per se. Naimeesha Murthy, Forbes, "Fundraising Opportunities For Minorities And Women Of Color," 19 Apr. 2021 However, the driving force behind the lunar ark isn’t climate change or sea-level rise per se, but the Toba supervolcanic eruption of 75,000 years ago. Jamie Carter, Forbes, "Why We Need A ‘Moon Ark’ To Store Frozen Seeds, Sperm And Eggs From 6.7 Million Earth Species," 10 Mar. 2021 Qualcomm does not have AI experience, per se, as the leader in 5G. Rather, bringing AI acceleration from the data center to the edge is the correct path, which is unique to Nvidia. Beth Kindig, Forbes, "Why The Nvidia-Arm Acquisition Should Be Approved," 12 Mar. 2021 Experts predict that cryptoart values will eventually decline because most bidders aren’t art patrons per se, but merely seeking a profit. Anne Quito, Quartz, "A jpeg just sold for $69.3 million amid the NFT craze," 11 Mar. 2021 This project was different from most Fixer Upper projects as Chip and Joanna didn't have a traditional client per se. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Renovated An Emergency Girls' Shelter in Waco, TX for 'Fixer Upper: Welcome Home'," 19 Feb. 2021 My parents were not music people, per se, but my mother loved piano pieces. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, "Ian MacKaye Talks ‘Woodstock’ Soundtrack Obsession in New Book Excerpt," 24 Feb. 2021 Falsely accusing someone of being gay is no longer considered defamation per se, a New York appeals court ruled recently. NBC News, "Falsely claiming someone is gay is no longer defamation per se, N.Y. court rules," 14 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of perse

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above


1574, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

circa 1655, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for perse

Adjective (1)

Middle English pers, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin persus



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Time Traveler for perse

Time Traveler

The first known use of perse was in the 15th century

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Statistics for perse

Cite this Entry

“Perse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perse. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for perse

per se


English Language Learners Definition of per se

formal : by, of, or in itself

per se

\ pər-ˈsā, ˌper-; pər-ˈsē How to pronounce per se (audio) \

Legal Definition of per se

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : inherently, strictly, or by operation of statute, constitutional provision or doctrine, or case law the transaction was illegal per se — see also negligence per se at negligence, nuisance per se at nuisance
2 : without proof of special damages or reference to extrinsic circumstances defamatory statements that were actionable per se — compare per quod

per se


Legal Definition of per se (Entry 2 of 2)

: being such inherently, clearly, or by operation of statute, constitutional provision or doctrine, or case law it is clear that licensing of adult entertainment establishments is not a per se violation of the First AmendmentClub Southern Burlesque, Inc. v. City of Carrollton, 457 S.E.2d 816 (1995) a per se conflict of interest

History and Etymology for perse


Latin, by, of, or in itself

Comments on perse

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