Per Se Definition

pər sā, sē
By (or in) itself; intrinsically.
Webster's New World
By or through itself. Standing alone; on its own merits; without need for reference to outside facts. The opposite of per quod.
Webster's New World Law

By itself; without consideration of extraneous factors.

The law makes drunk driving illegal per se.
(chiefly in negative polarity environments) As such; as one would expect from the name.
Well, that's not correct per se, but the situation is something like that.
(law) As a matter of law.

Origin of Per Se

  • From Latin per se (“by itself"), from per (“by, through") and se (“itself, himself, herself, themselves").

    From Wiktionary

  • Latin per sē per per itself

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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per se