Etymology
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Words related to per

pernicious (adj.)

early 15c., of a deed, "evil, wicked;" from 1520s as "having the property of destroying or being injurious," from Old French pernicios (13c., Modern French pernicieux) and directly from Latin perniciosus "destructive," from pernicies "destruction, death, ruin," from per "completely" (see per) + necis "violent death, murder," related to necare "to kill," nocere "to hurt, injure, harm," noxa "harm, injury" (from PIE root *nek- (1) "death"). Related: Perniciously; perniciousness.

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perpendicular (adj.)

late 15c., perpendiculer, of a line, "lying at right angles to the horizon" (in astronomy, navigation, etc.), from an earlier adverb (late 14c.), "at right angles to the horizon," from Old French perpendiculer, from Late Latin perpendicularis "vertical, as a plumb line," from Latin perpendiculum "plumb line," from perpendere "balance carefully," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin").

The meaning "perfectly vertical" is by 1590s. As a noun, "a line that meets another line or plane at right angles," from 1570s. The earlier noun was perpendicle (c. 1400). Related: Perpendicularly; perpendicularity.

perquisite (n.)

mid-15c., "property acquired other than by inheritance" (c. 1300 in Anglo-Latin), from Medieval Latin perquisitum "thing gained, profit," in classical Latin, "thing sought after," noun use of neuter past participle of perquirere "to seek, ask for," from per "thoroughly" (see per) + quærere "to seek" (see query (v.)). For Latin vowel change, see acquisition. The general meaning "any incidental profit, gain, or fee on top of regular wages" is by 1560s.

persevere (v.)

"to persist in what one has undertaken, to pursue steadily a design or course," late 14c., perseveren, from Old French perseverer "continue, persevere, endure" and directly from Latin perseverare "continue steadfastly, persist," from persevereus "very strict, earnest," from per "very" (see per) + severus "serious, grave, strict, austere," which is probably from PIE root *segh- "to have, hold," on the notion of "steadfastness, toughness." Related: Persevered; persevering.

persuasion (n.)

late 14c., persuasioun, "action of inducing (someone) to believe (something) by appeals to reason (not by authority, force, or fear); an argument to persuade, inducement," from Old French persuasion (14c.) and directly from Latin persuasionem (nominative persuasio) "a convincing, persuading," noun of action from past-participle stem of persuadere "persuade, convince," from per "thoroughly, strongly" (see per) + suadere "to urge, persuade," from PIE root *swād- "sweet, pleasant" (see sweet (adj.)).

Meaning "state of being convinced" is from 1530s; that of "religious belief, creed" is from 1620s. Colloquial or humorous sense of "kind, sort, nationality" is by 1864.

pertinacity (n.)

"resolute or unyielding adherence," c. 1500, from French pertinacité (early 15c.), from Old French pertinace "obstinate, stubborn," from Latin pertinacem (nominative pertinax) "very firm, tenacious, steadfast, persevering," from per "very" (see per) + tenax (see tenacious). It drove out earlier pertinacy (late 14c.), which was especially "persevering in disbelief."

pertussis (n.)

"whooping cough," 1670s (Sydenham), from Modern Latin pertussis, from per- "thoroughly," or here perhaps with intensive force (see per), + tussis "cough," a word of unknown origin.

peruse (v.)

late 15c., "to go through searchingly or in detail, run over with careful scrutiny," from Middle English per- "completely" (see per) + use (v.). Meaning "read carefully and critically" is by 1530s, but this could be a separate formation. Meaning "read casually" is from 19c. Related: Perused; perusing. "The formation looks unusual, but it is well supported by similar formations now obsolete, e.g. peract, perplant, perstand, etc." [Century Dictionary].

pervert (v.)

late 14c., perverten (transitive), "to turn someone aside from a right religious belief to a false or erroneous one; to distort natural order, misdirect misapply (justice, law, truth, etc.); to turn (something or someone) from right opinion or conduct," from Old French pervertir "pervert, undo, destroy" (12c.) and directly from Latin pervertere "overthrow, overturn," figuratively "to corrupt, subvert, abuse," literally "turn the wrong way, turn about," from per "away" (see per) + vertere "to turn, turn back, be turned; convert, transform, translate; be changed" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend").

Related: Perverted; perverting. Replaced native froward, which embodies the same image. Old English had mishweorfed "perverted, inverted," an identical formation to the Latin word using native elements.

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