peregrine (n.) Look up peregrine at Dictionary.com
also peregrin, type of falcon, 1550s, short for peregrine falcon (late 14c.), from Old French faulcon pelerin (mid-13c.), from Medieval Latin falco peregrinus, from Latin peregrinus "coming from foreign parts" (see peregrination). Sense may have been a bird "caught in transit," as opposed to one taken from the nest. Peregrine as an adjective in English meaning "not native, foreign" is attested from 1520s.
peremptory (adj.) Look up peremptory at Dictionary.com
"decisive," mid-15c., legal term, from Anglo-French peremptorie, from Middle French peremtoire, from Latin peremptorius "destructive, decisive, final," from peremptor "destroyer," from perimpere "destroy, cut off," from per- "away entirely, to destruction" (see per) + emere "to take" (see exempt (adj.)). Of persons or their words, "certain, assured, brooking no debate," 1580s. Related: Peremptorily.
perennial (adj.) Look up perennial at Dictionary.com
1640s, "evergreen," formed in English from Latin perennis "lasting through the year (or years)," from per- "through" (see per) + annus "year" (see annual). Botanical sense of "Remaining alive through a number of years" is attested from 1670s; figurative meaning of "enduring, permanent" is from 1750. Related: Perennially. For vowel change, see biennial. The noun meaning "a perennial plant" is from 1763.
perestroika (n.) Look up perestroika at Dictionary.com
1981, from Russian perestroika, literally "rebuilding, reconstruction, reform" (of Soviet society, etc.), from pere- "re-" (from Old Russian pere- "around, again," from Proto-Slavic *per-, from PIE *per- (1) "forward, through;" see per) + stroika "building, construction," from Old Russian stroji "order," from PIE *stroi-, from root *stere- "to spread" (see structure (n.)). First proposed at the 26th Party Congress (1981); popularized in English 1985 during Mikhail Gorbachev's leadership of the U.S.S.R.
perfect (adj.) Look up perfect at Dictionary.com
early 15c. alteration of Middle English parfit (c. 1300), from Old French parfit "finished, completed, ready" (11c.), from Latin perfectus "completed, excellent, accomplished, exquisite," past participle of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete," from per- "completely" (see per) + facere "to make, do, perform" (see factitious). Often used in English as an intensive (perfect stranger, etc.). Grammatical sense, in reference to verb tense, is from c. 1500. As a noun, late 14c. ("perfection"), from the adjective.
The difference between the Preterit and the Perfect is in English observed more strictly than in the other languages possessing corresponding tenses. The Preterit refers to some time in the past without telling anything about the connexion with the present moment, while the Perfect is a retrospective present, which connects a past occurrence with the present time, either as continued up to the present moment (inclusive time) or as having results or consequences bearing on the present moment. [Otto Jespersen, "Essentials of English Grammar," 1933]
perfecta (n.) Look up perfecta at Dictionary.com
1971, from American Spanish perfecta, shortened from quiniela perfecta "perfect quiniela," a bet in horseracing (see quinella).
perfervid (adj.) Look up perfervid at Dictionary.com
1830, as if from Latin *perfervidus, from per- "completely" (see per) + fervidus (see fervid). Related: Perfervidly.
perfidy (n.) Look up perfidy at Dictionary.com
1590s, from Middle French perfidie (16c.), from Latin perfidia "faithlessness, falsehood, treachery," from perfidus "faithless," from phrase per fidem decipere "to deceive through trustingness," from per "through" (see per) + fidem (nominative fides) "faith" (see faith).
[C]ombinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practiced perfidy grow faithless to each other. [Samuel Johnson, "Life of Waller"]
perforation (n.) Look up perforation at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "hole made through something;" mid-15c., "action of perforating," from Middle French perforation or directly from Late Latin perforationem (nominative perforatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin perforare "bore or pierce through," from per- "through" (see per) + forare "to pierce" (see bore (v.1)).
perforce (adv.) Look up perforce at Dictionary.com
early 14c., par force, from Old French par force (12c.), literally "by force" (see force). With Latin per substituted 17c. for French cognate par.
perform (v.) Look up perform at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "carry into effect, fulfill, discharge," via Anglo-French performer, altered (by influence of Old French forme "form") from Old French parfornir "to do, carry out, finish, accomplish," from par- "completely" (see per-) + fornir "to provide" (see furnish).

Theatrical/musical sense is from c. 1600. The verb was used with wider senses in Middle English than now, including "to make, construct; produce, bring about;" also "come true" (of dreams), and to performen muche time was "to live long." Related: Performed; performing.
performance (n.) Look up performance at Dictionary.com
late a5c., "accomplishment" (of something), from perform + -ance. Meaning "a thing performed" is from 1590s; that of "action of performing a play, etc." is from 1610s; that of "a public entertainment" is from 1709. Performance art is attested from 1971.
perfume (n.) Look up perfume at Dictionary.com
1530s, "fumes from a burning substance," from Middle French parfum (16c.), from parfumer "to scent," from Old Provençal perfumar or cognate words in dialectal Italian (perfumare) or Spanish (perfumar), from Latin per- "through" (see per) + fumare "to smoke" (see fume (n.)). Meaning "fluid containing agreeable essences of flowers, etc.," is attested from 1540s.
perfunctory (adj.) Look up perfunctory at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Late Latin perfunctorius "careless, negligent," literally "like one who wishes to get through a thing," from Latin perfungus, past participle of perfungi "discharge, busy oneself, get through," from per- "through" + fungi "perform" (see function (n.)). Related: Perfunctorily.
perfusion (n.) Look up perfusion at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French perfusion and directly from Latin perfusionem (nominative perfusio) "a pouring over," noun of action from past participle stem of perfundere "pour out," from per- "throughout" (see per) + fundere "pour" (see found (v.2)).
perhaps (adv.) Look up perhaps at Dictionary.com
1520s, formed from Middle English per, par "by, through" (see per) + plural of hap "chance" (see happen), on model of peradventure, perchance, etc. which now have been superseded by this word. Perhappons "possibly, by chance" is recorded from late 15c.
peri (n.) Look up peri at Dictionary.com
1777, from Persian pari, from Avestan pairika. Race of superhuman female beings originally represented as malevolent, later as angelic genii (compare sense evolution of English fairy, to which it is not related).
peri- Look up peri- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "around, about, enclosing," from Greek peri (prep.) "around, about, beyond," cognate with Sanskrit pari "around, about, through," Latin per, from PIE *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per-).
perianth (n.) Look up perianth at Dictionary.com
"envelope of a flower," 1706, from French périanthe, from Modern Latin perianthium (17c.), literally "that which is round the flower," from peri- (see peri-) + Greek anthos "flower" (see anther).
pericardium (n.) Look up pericardium at Dictionary.com
early 15c., Latinized form of Greek perikardion "(membrane) around the heart" (Galen), from peri (prep.) "around, about" (see peri-) + kardia "heart," from PIE root *kerd- (1) "heart" (see heart (n.)). Related: Pericardiac.
Pericles Look up Pericles at Dictionary.com
Athenian statesman (c. 495-429 B.C.E.), from Greek Perikles, literally "far-famed," from peri "all around" (see peri-) + -kles "fame" (see Damocles). His leadership of Athens marks its intellectual and material zenith. Related: Periclean.
perigee (n.) Look up perigee at Dictionary.com
"point at which a celestial body is nearest the Earth," 1590s, from Modern Latin perigeum (15c.), from Late Greek peregeion, used by Ptolemy as a noun, properly neuter of adjective perigeios "near the earth," from peri ges, from peri "near" (see peri-) + ges, genitive of ge "earth" (see Gaia).
perihelion (n.) Look up perihelion at Dictionary.com
"point at which a celestial body is nearest the Sun," 1680s, coined in Modern Latin (perihelium) by Kepler (1596) from Latinizations of Greek peri "near" (see peri-) + helios "sun" (see sol). Subsequently re-Greeked.
peril (n.) Look up peril at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, from Old French peril "danger, risk" (10c.), from Latin periculum "an attempt, trial, experiment; risk, danger," with instrumentive suffix -culum and first element from PIE *peri-tlo-, suffixed form of root *per- (3) "to try, risk" (source also of Latin experiri "to try;" Greek peria "trial, attempt, experience," empeiros "experienced;" Old Irish aire "vigilance;" Gothic ferja "watcher;" Old English fær "danger, calamity"). According to Watkins, this is "A verbal root belonging to the group of" *per- (1) "forward, through" (see per) via the notion of "to lead over, to press forward."
perilous (adj.) Look up perilous at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French perillos "perilous, dangerous" (Modern French périlleux) "dangerous, hazardous," from Latin periculosus "dangerous, hazardous," from periculum "a danger, attempt, risk" (see peril). Related: Perilously; perilousness.
perimeter (n.) Look up perimeter at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "line around a figure or surface," from Latin perimetros, from Greek perimetron "circumference," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)). Military sense of "boundary of a defended position" is attested from 1943.
perineum (n.) Look up perineum at Dictionary.com
"region of the body between the anus and the genital organs" (jocularly called a taint), early 15c., from Medieval Latin perinaeon, Late Latin perineum, from Greek perinaion, perinaios, from peri- "near" (see peri-) + inan "to carry off by evacuation," of unknown origin.
period (n.) Look up period at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "course or extent of time," from Middle French periode (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin periodus "recurring portion, cycle," from Latin periodus "a complete sentence," also "cycle of the Greek games," from Greek periodos "cycle, circuit, period of time," literally "a going around," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + hodos "a going, way, journey" (see cede).

Sense of "repeated cycle of events" led to that of "interval of time." Meaning "dot marking end of a sentence" first recorded c. 1600, from similar use in Medieval Latin (in late 16c. English it meant "full pause at the end of a sentence"). Sense of "menstruation" dates from 1822. Educational sense of "portion of time set apart for a lesson" is from 1876. Sporting sense attested from 1898. As an adjective from 1905; period piece attested from 1911.
periodic (adj.) Look up periodic at Dictionary.com
1640s, from French périodique (14c.), from Latin periodicus, from periodus (see period).

Periodic table in chemistry (1889) is from notion of the arrangement, in which similar properties recur at intervals in elements in the same area as you read down the rows of the table. This sense of the word is attested from 1872 (periodic law).
periodontal (adj.) Look up periodontal at Dictionary.com
1848, literally "around the tooth," from peri- + Greek odon (genitive odontos) "tooth" (see tooth).
peripatetic (n.) Look up peripatetic at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "disciple of Aristotle," from Old French perypatetique (14c.), from Latin peripateticus "pertaining to the disciples or philosophy of Aristotle," from Greek peripatetikos "given to walking about" (especially while teaching), from peripatein "walk up and down, walk about," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + patein "to walk, tread" (see find (v.)). Aristotle's custom was to teach while strolling through the Lyceum in Athens. In English, the philosophical meaning is older than that of "person who wanders about" (1610s).
peripheral (adj.) Look up peripheral at Dictionary.com
1803, from periphery + -al (1). An earlier formation was peripherial (1670s). Related: Peripherally. As a noun, peripherals, "peripheral devices of a computer," is from 1966.
periphery (n.) Look up periphery at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "atmosphere around the earth," from Old French periferie (Modern French périphérie), from Medieval Latin periferia, from Late Latin peripheria, from Greek peripheria "circumference, outer surface, line round a circular body," literally "a carrying around," from peripheres "rounded, moving round, revolving," peripherein "carry or move round," from peri- "round about" (see peri-) + pherein "to carry" (see infer). Meaning "outside boundary of a surface" attested in English from 1570s; general sense of "boundary" is from 1660s.
periphrasis (n.) Look up periphrasis at Dictionary.com
1530s, from Latin periphrasis "circumlocution," from Greek periphrasis, from periphrazein "speak in a roundabout way," from peri- "round about" (see peri-) + phrazein "to express" (see phrase (n.)).
periscope (n.) Look up periscope at Dictionary.com
viewing apparatus on a submarine, 1899, formed in English from peri- "around" + -scope "instrument for viewing." Earlier (1865) a technical term in photography. Related: Periscopic.
perish (v.) Look up perish at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from periss- present participle stem of Old French perir "perish, be lost, be shipwrecked" (12c.), from Latin perire "to be lost, perish," literally "to go through," from per- "through, completely, to destruction" (see per) + ire "to go" (see ion). Related: Perished; perishing.
peristaltic (adj.) Look up peristaltic at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Modern Latin, from Greek peristaltikos (Galen), literally "contracting around," from peri (see peri-) "around, about" + stalsis "checking, constriction," related to stellein "draw in, bring together; set in order" (see diastole).
peritoneum (n.) Look up peritoneum at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin peritonaeum, from Greek peritonaion "abdominal membrane," literally "part stretched over," noun use of neuter of peritonaios "stretched over," from peri- "around" (see peri-) + teinein "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Peritoneal.
periwig (n.) Look up periwig at Dictionary.com
1520s, perwyke, popular corruption of perruck, from Middle French perruque (see peruke).
periwinkle (n.1) Look up periwinkle at Dictionary.com
evergreen plant, c. 1500, diminutive of parvink (12c.), from Old English perwince, from Late Latin pervinca "periwinkle" (4c.), from Latin, perhaps from pervincire "to entwine, bind," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + vincire "to bind, fetter" (see wind (v.1)).
periwinkle (n.2) Look up periwinkle at Dictionary.com
kind of sea snail, 1520s, apparently an alteration of Old English pinewincle (probably by influence of Middle English parvink; see periwinkle (n.1)); from Old English pine-, which probably is from Latin pina "mussel," from Greek pine. The second element is wincel "corner; spiral shell," from Proto-Germanic *winkil-, from PIE root *weng- "to bend, curve" (see wink (v.)).
perjury (n.) Look up perjury at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "act of swearing to a statement known to be false," via Anglo-French perjurie (late 13c.) and Old French parjurée "perjury, false witness," both from Latin periurium "a false oath," from periurare "swear falsely," from per- "away, entirely" (see per) + iurare "to swear" (see jury (n.)). Related: Perjurious.
perk (v.) Look up perk at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps from Old North French perquer "to perch" (Modern French percher; see perch (n.1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise oneself briskly" is first attested 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s. Related: Perked; perking.
perk (n.) Look up perk at Dictionary.com
1869, shortened colloquial form of perquisite (q.v.), also perq. As a verb, 1934 as shortened and altered form of percolate, also perc.
perky (adj.) Look up perky at Dictionary.com
1820, from perk (v.) + -y (2). Of young women's breasts since at least 1937. Related: Perkily; perkiness.
perm (n.) Look up perm at Dictionary.com
1927, shortened form of permanent wave (1909). The verb is first recorded 1928.
permafrost (n.) Look up permafrost at Dictionary.com
1943, coined in English by Russian-born U.S. geologist Siemon W. Muller (1900-1970) from perm(anent) frost.
permanent (adj.) Look up permanent at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French permanent (14c.) or directly from Latin permanentem (nominative permanens) "remaining," present participle of permanere "endure, hold out, continue, stay to the end," from per- "through" (see per) + manere "stay" (see mansion). As a noun meaning "permanent wave," by 1909. Of clothing, permanent press attested from 1964.
permeable (adj.) Look up permeable at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Late Latin permeabilis "that can be passed through, passable," from Latin permeare "to pass through, go over," from per- "through" (see per) + meare "to pass," from PIE root *mei- (1) "to change" (see mutable). Related: Permeably.
permeate (v.) Look up permeate at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Latin permeatus, past participle of permeare "to pass through" (see permeable). Related: Permeated; permeating.