per

1 of 4

preposition

1
: by the means or agency of : through
per bearer
2
: with respect to every member of a specified group : for each
3
: according to
often used with as
per instructions
as per usual
Using Per as a Preposition: Usage Guide

Per occurs most frequently in business contexts; its use outside such contexts is often criticized but is quite widespread, especially in sense 2. Its most common and natural nonbusiness uses always involve figures, usually in relation to price

$150 per performance

, automobiles

32 miles per gallon
55 miles per hour

, or sports.

averages 15 points and 9 rebounds per game

per

2 of 4

adverb

: for each : apiece
a bargain at $3.50 per

per

3 of 4

abbreviation

1
period
2
person

per-

4 of 4

prefix

1
: throughout : thoroughly
peruse
2
a
: containing the largest possible or a relatively large proportion of a (specified) chemical element
perchloroethylene
b
: containing an element in its highest or a high oxidation state
perchloric acid

Examples of per in a Sentence

Preposition The speed limit is 35 miles per hour. The car gets 32 miles per gallon. He averages 15 points per game. Per your advice, I accepted their offer. Adverb you can have them at 50 cents per or three for $1.25
Recent Examples on the Web
Preposition
That's a distance of approximately 186 million miles (300,000 kilometers), per Astronomy.com, which is enough to observe the parallax effect in distant stars. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 7 Apr. 2024 Drawings are held three times per week at approximately 10:59 p.m. ET every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Apr. 2024 One 2015 study found that 175 Black men per 100,000 in the US had an incident of sudden cardiac arrest, compared with 84 White men, from 2002 to 2012. Amanda Sealy, CNN, 7 Apr. 2024 Northern Gaza gets an average of 10 food trucks entering per day. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 7 Apr. 2024 The average Californian uses 10 times more water than the average Navajo reservation resident Californian: 100 gallons per day Navajo: 10 gallons per day 3 Bathroom sink 2 Bath 7 10 14 Dishes 11 1 Total water use includes additional categories such as landscaping and plumbing leaks. Tyrone Beason, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2024 In the deli area, the spray bottles of Sani Save sanitizer used to clean the slicers weren’t diluted enough and had a concentration over 400 parts per million. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 7 Apr. 2024 The Broncos averaged just 3.8 rushing yards per carry and went 2-for-13 on third downs. Ron Counts, Idaho Statesman, 7 Apr. 2024 In November, the firm was issued a $500,000 convertible note with a conversion price of $10 per share; that stake is worth $2 million today. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2024
Adverb
Senior libero/setter Cassidy Donalson represented Spring Woods on the watch list after averaging a team-high 4.3 digs per set as a junior. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, 1 July 2019 That’s helped bring per-pound retail prices for beef patties down 16% from their September 2015 high of $5.12 to about $4.31 in June, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 30 June 2018 Anderton, the Collierville, Tennessee, native averaged 11.78 assists per set and 2.00 digs per set as Samford improved to 6-6 in SoCon play. Samford Athletics, AL.com, 2 Nov. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'per.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Preposition

Latin, through, by means of, by — more at for

Prefix

Latin, through, throughout, thoroughly, detrimental to, from per

First Known Use

Preposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of per was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near per

Cite this Entry

“Per.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/per. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

per

preposition
(ˈ)pər
1
: by means of
2
: to or for each
$10 per day
3
: as indicated by : according to
per list price

Medical Definition

per

1 of 2 preposition
: by the means or agency of : by way of : through
enter through the mouth lining and per the bloodstream to the stomachSydney (Australia) Bulletin
blood per rectum
see per os

per

2 of 2 abbreviation
1
period; periodic
2
person

Legal Definition

per

preposition
: as stated by
used to indicate the author of an opinion with which the majority of judges concur

More from Merriam-Webster on per

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