Etymology
Advertisement
perspective (n.)

late 14c., perspectif, "the science of optics," from Old French perspective and directly from Medieval Latin perspectiva ars "science of optics," from fem. of perspectivus "of sight, optical" from Latin perspectus "clearly perceived," past participle of perspicere "inspect, look through, look closely at," from per "through" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + specere "look at" (from PIE root *spek- "to observe"). The English word is also attested from early 15c. as an adjective, "pertaining to the science of optics."

The sense of "the art of drawing solid objects on a flat surface so as to give appearance of distance or depth" is attested by 1590s, probably by influence of Italian prospettiva, an artists' term. The meaning "proper or just proportion, appropriate relation in the mind of the parts of a subject to one another" is recorded by c. 1600, hence the figurative meaning "mental outlook over time" (1762).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
Perspex 
1935, trade name in Britain for what in the U.S. is called Plexiglas or Lucite, irregularly formed from Latin perspect-, past participle stem of perspicere "look through, look closely at" (see perspective).
Related entries & more 
perspicuous (adj.)

late 15c., "capable of being seen through" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin perspicuus "transparent, clear, evident," from perspicere "look through, look closely at" (see perspective). From 1580s as "clear to the understanding, not obscure or ambivalent." Related: Perspicuously; perspicuousness.

Related entries & more 
perspicuity (n.)

late 15c., perspicuite, of things, "clearness, transparency" (a sense now obsolete); 1540s of words or expressions, "quality of being clear to the mind; quality by which the meaning can be seen through the words," from Old French perspicuité and directly from Latin perspicuitas "transparency, clearness," from perspicuus "transparent," from perspicere "look through, look closely at" (see perspective).

Related entries & more 
*spek- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to observe."

It forms all or part of: aspect; auspex; auspices; auspicious; bishop; circumspect; conspicuous; despicable; despise; episcopal; especial; espionage; espy; expect; frontispiece; gyroscope; haruspex; horoscope; inspect; inspection; inspector; introspect; introspection; perspective; perspicacious; perspicacity; prospect; prospective; respect; respite; retrospect; scope; -scope; scopophilia; -scopy; skeptic; species; specimen; specious; spectacle; spectacular; spectrum; speculate; speculation; speculum; spice; spy; suspect; suspicion; suspicious; telescope.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit spasati "sees;" Avestan spasyeiti "spies;" Greek skopein "behold, look, consider," skeptesthai "to look at," skopos "watcher, one who watches;" Latin specere "to look at;" Old High German spehhon "to spy," German spähen "to spy."
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
*per- (1)

Proto-Indo-European root forming prepositions, etc., meaning "forward," and, by extension, "in front of, before, first, chief, toward, near, against," etc.

It forms all or part of: afford; approach; appropriate; approve; approximate; barbican; before; deprive; expropriate; far; first; for; for-; fore; fore-; forefather; foremost; former (adj.); forth; frame; frau; fret; Freya; fro; froward; from; furnish; furniture; further; galore; hysteron-proteron; impervious; improbity; impromptu; improve; palfrey; par (prep.); para- (1) "alongside, beyond; altered; contrary; irregular, abnormal;" paradise; pardon; paramount; paramour; parvenu; pellucid; per; per-; percent; percussion; perennial; perestroika; perfect; perfidy; perform; perfume; perfunctory; perhaps; peri-; perish; perjury; permanent; permeate; permit; pernicious; perpendicular; perpetual; perplex; persecute; persevere; perspective; perspire; persuasion; pertain; peruse; pervade; pervert; pierce; portray; postprandial; prae-; Prakrit; pre-; premier; presbyter; Presbyterian; preterite; pride; priest; primal; primary; primate; primavera; prime; primeval; primitive; primo; primogenitor; primogeniture; primordial; primus; prince; principal; principle; prior; pristine; private; privilege; privy; pro (n.2) "a consideration or argument in favor;" pro-; probably; probe; probity; problem; proceed; proclaim; prodigal; produce; profane; profess; profile; profit; profound; profuse; project; promise; prompt; prone; proof; proper; property; propinquity; prophet; prose; prostate; prosthesis; protagonist; Protean; protect; protein; Proterozoic; protest; proto-; protocol; proton; protoplasm; Protozoa; proud; prove; proverb; provide; provoke; prow; prowess; proximate; Purana; purchase; purdah; reciprocal; rapprochement; reproach; reprove; veneer.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit pari "around, about, through," parah "farther, remote, ulterior," pura "formerly, before," pra- "before, forward, forth;" Avestan pairi- "around," paro "before;" Hittite para "outside of," Greek peri "around, about, near, beyond," pera "across, beyond," paros "before," para "from beside, beyond," pro "before;" Latin pro "before, for, on behalf of, instead of," porro "forward," prae "before," per "through;" Old Church Slavonic pra-dedu "great-grandfather;" Russian pere- "through;" Lithuanian per "through;" Old Irish ire "farther," roar "enough;" Gothic faura "before," Old English fore (prep.) "before, in front of," (adv.) "before, previously," fram "forward, from," feor "to a great distance, long ago;" German vor "before, in front of;" Old Irish air- Gothic fair-, German ver-, Old English fer-, intensive prefixes.

Related entries & more 
anamorphism (n.)
"distorted projection or perspective," 1836; see anamorphosis + -ism.
Related entries & more 
axonometric (adj.)
1869, from axonometry "art of making a perspective representation of figures based on coordinate points" (1865), from Greek axon "axis, axle" (see axis) + metria "a measuring of" (see -metry).
Related entries & more 
orthographic (adj.)

1660s, in reference to a type of perspective in drawings, etc., from ortho- "true, correct" + -graphic "of or pertaining to drawing" (see graphic (adj.)). Meaning "belonging to the writing of words with proper letters, relating to the spelling of words" is by 1868, from orthography + -ic. Related: Orthographically (used from 1610s in reference to spelling).

Related entries & more 
isometric (adj.)
1838, literally "of the same measure," from iso- "the same, equal" + -metric. The components are Greek: isos "equal, identical" + metron "a measure." Originally a method of using perspective in drawing; later in reference to crystals. The physiological sense relating to muscular action is from 1889, from German isometrisch in this sense (1882).
Related entries & more