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Note 208 – The Latin expression ‘per se’

According to Wikipediaper se is a Latin phrase meaning ‘in itself’, although the individual Latin words can be defined as:

per = by or through
se = itself, himself, herself or themselves

The Merriam Webster dictionary explains that per se can be used as an adverb or an adjective as follows:

Definition of per se as an adverb (source: Merriam Webster)

  • ‘by’, ‘of’, or ‘in’ itself (or oneself or themselves)
  • as such
  • intrinsically

Example: It was not the exact colour per se, but it was close enough (where per se means ‘as such’)

Definition of per se as an adjective (source: Merriam Webster)

  • being such inherently, clearly, or as a matter of law <a per se conflict of interest> 

Some other facts about per se (source: Wiktionary)

  • As per se is a Latin phrase, it is sometimes written in italics.
  • It was known as persé until a spelling reform in 1995 made it obsolete.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s blog.

Until tomorrow…

Freelance writer
(For information on my services as a freelance writer as well as details of my book and other blogs).

This blog post forms part of My Writing Challenge.
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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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