\ 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

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 And skill or talent are not factors: All the studies mentioned involved a random selection of people, not artists per se. John Donohue, New York Times, "The Big Impact of a Small Hobby," 1 May 2020 While this isn't a series per se, Minimalism is an inspiring documentary that taps into America's mindset that material items bring happiness. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "11 Home Shows to Binge-Watch Tonight," 19 Mar. 2020 There wasn’t a vision per se, but a desire to keep moving towards a life that was simpler and less complicated. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jewelry Designer Roxanne Assoulin's Bright Idea," 24 Dec. 2019 The Monopoly Friends Edition differs from the original Monopoly as players aren't buying/selling only properties per se, but rather shelling out money for iconic moments from the series. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "You Can Invest in Central Perk in This "Friends"-Themed Monopoly Game," 27 Feb. 2020 For example, because public performances of sound recordings on streaming services and digital radio didn't exist when TRIPS was written in the early '90s, those recordings are not per se protected by TRIPS. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "SoundExchange Asks U.S. Trade Rep to Help Artists Get Paid Abroad," 7 Feb. 2020 His latest venture is the Peace Center of Connecticut, a nonprofit that does not offer services per se, but aims to unite the work of anti-violence groups throughout the state. Alix Boyle, courant.com, "Hang Time:," 12 Dec. 2019 What bothers me about the empty holy water-fonts is not the empty holy-water fonts per se. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, "Love in the Time of Coronavirus," 9 Mar. 2020 On Saturday, his models were not always wearing clothes per se. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "At Paris Fashion Week, designers reworked the tuxedo and explored the meaning of color. And, oh yeah, Kanye showed up.," 3 Mar. 2020

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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Cite this Entry

“Perse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perse. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for perse

per se

How to pronounce Perse (audio)

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

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