1. 1901–1963, South Vietnamese statesman: president of the Republic of South Vietnam 1956–63.


  1. by the day; for each day.


  1. paid by the day.


  1. a daily allowance, usually for living expenses while traveling in connection with one’s work or being employed at a distance from one’s home: a per diem for lawmakers while the legislature is in session.

  1. Latin. seize the day; enjoy the present, as opposed to placing all hope in the future.

  1. enjoy the pleasures of the moment, without concern for the future


  1. every day or by the day


    1. an allowance for daily expenses, usually those incurred while working
    2. (as modifier)a per-diem allowance

Latin, literally “by the day,” from per (see per) + diem, accusative singular of dies “day” (see diurnal). As a noun from 1809.

1786, Latin, “enjoy the day,” literally “pluck the day (while it is ripe),” an aphorism from Horace (“Odes” I.xi), from PIE *kerp- “to gather, pluck, harvest” (see harvest (n.)).

Latin for “Seize the day”: take full advantage of present opportunities. This sentiment is found not only in classical literature but in much of English literature as well (see “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may” and “Had we but world enough, and time, / This coyness, Lady, were no crime.”)

A Latin phrase meaning “by the day.” Traveling sales reps or government workers often are paid a per diem, meaning an allowance out of which to cover daily expenses while traveling.

Enjoy the present and don’t worry about the future, as in It’s a beautiful day, so forget tomorrow’s test—carpe diem! Latin for “seize the day,” an aphorism found in the Roman writer Horace’s Odes, this phrase has been used in English since the early 1800s.

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