\ 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 That is the second injury in the IU secondary, per se, as the Hoosiers have already lost hybrid safety-linebacker Marcelino Ball to a season-ending ACL tear. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football notebook: Hoosiers 100% registered to vote, COVID testing updated, WKU game rescheduled," 6 Oct. 2020 Julian Fleming, Gee Scott and others do not look like freshman, per se. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football inside look: What we learned Saturday about the defense," 3 Oct. 2020 Internet traffic spiked by 25% globally during the early months of the pandemic, but this hasn’t slowed down speeds per se. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Follow these steps to supercharge your wifi," 20 Sep. 2020 Podcast producers weren’t inspired to tape another episode because of the news per se. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Starved for time and privacy, India’s women are finding refuge in podcasts," 30 Sep. 2020 There is no real script per se, and the characters do not cut deep, but there is a tactile feel for the period, through the clothes, music and décor, while the male-female tensions are timeless. David Morgan, CBS News, "What to expect from the New York Film Festival amid the coronavirus pandemic," 25 Sep. 2020 Neither carbon pricing nor capturing carbon is a bad idea per se. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Corporate America Is Irrationally Enthusiastic About Carbon Capture," 24 Sep. 2020 Degradative laziness is not meant to invoked as a slight, per se. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, "How Biblical Illiteracy Is Ruining the Humanities," 17 Sep. 2020 Not a deal breaker per se, but look for something smooth and symmetrical. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "How to pick a watermelon," 15 Sep. 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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Statistics for perse

Cite this Entry

“Perse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perse. Accessed 21 Oct. 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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