\ ˈpərp How to pronounce perp (audio) \

Definition of perp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a perpetrator especially of a crime

Definition of perp (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of perp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Notably absent from his long list of perps are trial lawyers, the preferred bugaboo of the right. Seth Stern, Washington Post, "A venture capitalist’s solutions for our troubled legal system," 7 June 2019 The perp, Jeffrey Epstein, deserved to be crushed By Justice’s ruthless iron fist, But the priciest lawyers that money could buy Got him off with a slap on the wrist. John Lithgow, The New Yorker, "Acosta Agonistes," 11 July 2019 As minutes passed, tension grew, with hundreds of reporters gathered for the perp walk. Richard Winton,, "This news chopper crew spotted O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco, and the chase was on," 17 June 2019 The other pooch chased the perps away but was also hit at some point, Newton said — the weapon knocking out the dog’s teeth on its left side. Dave Quinn,, "Wayne Newton Says He Fired a Pistol Shot as Burglars Fled His Home," 19 June 2019 If yesterday’s ruling class clutched its pearls at the sight of outcasts hobnobbing in their favorite spots, today’s has become accustomed to a crew of villains who might as well have strutted straight from perp walk to Per Se. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "What to Do When You Find Yourself at Dinner With a Social Pariah," 15 May 2019 The story concerns an LA private investigator named Phil Philips (voiced by Bill Barretta), the first puppet on the LAPD before he was booted from the force after being accused of purposely failing to shoot a puppet perp. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The Happytime Murders turns raunchy puppet comedy into inexplicably boring dreck," 23 Aug. 2018 The police, too, set up an important shot of their own: the perp walk. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Harvey Weinstein's Arrest Is Just the Opening Scene," 31 May 2018 Given the role that reporting about Weinstein played in the torrent of allegations unleashed since October, seeing him undergo a perp walk on Friday had plenty of significance. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein cases send a Time's Up message," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'perp.' 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 perp


1968, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for perp

The first known use of perp was in 1968

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English Language Learners Definition of perp

US slang : a person who commits a crime or does something wrong


\ ˈpərp How to pronounce perp (audio) \

Legal Definition of perp

: a perpetrator of a crime

More from Merriam-Webster on perp

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perp

Comments on perp

What made you want to look up perp? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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