Per mille

A per mille[1][2][3] (from Latin per mīlle, "in each thousand"[4]), also spelled per mil,[1][2][3] per mill,[4][5][6] permil,[4] permill,[4] or permille[3] is a sign indicating parts per thousand. Per mil should not be confused with parts per million (ppm).

Per mille

The sign is written , which looks like a percent sign (%) with an extra zero in the divisor. It is included in the General Punctuation block of Unicode characters: U+2030 PER MILLE SIGN (HTML ‰ · ‰).[3] It is accessible in Windows using ALT+0137, and is accessible via a compose key using %o.

The term occurs so rarely in English that major dictionaries do not agree on the spelling or pronunciation even within a single dialect of English[7] and some major dictionaries such as Macmillan[8] and Longman[9] do not even contain an entry. The term is more common in other European languages where it is used in contexts, such as blood alcohol content, that are usually expressed as a percentage in English-speaking countries.


Examples of use include:


  1. Cambridge Dictionary Online. "per mille". Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), 2014. Accessed 31 August 2012.
  2. Oxford Dictionaries: The British & World Dictionary. "per mille" Accessed 1 Aug 2014.
  3. Unicode. "General Punctuation". 2014. Accessed 5 Aug 2014.
  4. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "per mil, adv." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2005.
  5. eReference. "per mil Archived 2014-08-12 at the Wayback Machine". Houghton Mifflin. Accessed 31 Aug 2012.
  6. Oxford Dictionaries: The American Dictionary. "per mill". Accessed 1 Aug 2014.
  7. See entries above
  8. Macmillan Dictionary. "No result". Accessed 1 Aug 2014.
  9. Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. "No result". Accessed 1 Aug 2014.
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