What Does Per Se Mean?


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Evelyn Vaz answered
Per se basically means, through itself", "by itself" and "in itself". A very common example that is used in everyday language is negligence per se. this word is a bit ostentatious. Most of the people term misspells this word as a single word. And some even pronounces it as "per say". This is a Latin phrase, which means 'by, of, for, or in itself or oneself; as such; considered alone; intrinsically'.

Some of the relevant examples are "They say he is a very man per se and stands alone" (Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida); "Those subjects who believe themselves bound to acquiesce to a foreign not per se constitute a City, but are the subjects of that foreign power" (Thomas Hobbes, De Cive); "The extracts from other books, though always sufficiently pertinent, are rarely very entertaining per se, and the author's own text consists mainly of enumerations and catalogues (Henry James, English Writers); "Partisanship per se does not preclude political action" (The Christian Science Monitor).

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