follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

imperfect

[im-pur-fikt] /ɪmˈpɜr fɪkt/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by defects or weaknesses:
imperfect vision.
2.
not perfect; lacking completeness:
imperfect knowledge.
3.
Grammar. noting action or state still in process at some temporal point of reference, particularly in the past.
4.
Law. being without legal effect or support; unenforceable.
5.
Botany. (of a flower) diclinous.
6.
Music. of or relating to the interval of a major or minor third or sixth.
Compare perfect (def 12a).
noun, Grammar
7.
the imperfect tense.
8.
another verb formation or construction with imperfect meaning.
9.
a form in the imperfect, as Latin portābam, “I was carrying.”.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; < Latin imperfectus unfinished (see im-2, perfect); replacing Middle English imparfit < Middle French imparfait < Latin, as above
Related forms
imperfectly, adverb
imperfectness, noun
Synonyms
1. defective, faulty. 2. incomplete, underdeveloped; immature.
Antonyms
2. complete, developed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for imperfect
  • It's gotten harder than ever to find an imperfect heroine in a series who is actually flawed.
  • They're arguing that a perfect machine would be imperfect.
  • History is a tissue of such tender episodes, if also an imperfect record of them.
  • Sitting atop the narrow shelf above the sink, imperfect teacups make good holders for air plants.
  • That's good, because anonymity remains essential in these imperfect times.
  • It's true, of course, that the parallels are imperfect.
  • To say it was imperfect though understates his error on that one.
  • Yet an imperfect system can also increase traffic congestion caused by circling for on-street parking.
  • It is true that atmospheric science is complex and climate models are imperfect.
  • Insurgent-initiated attacks are an imperfect measurement how the insurgency's doing.
British Dictionary definitions for imperfect

imperfect

/ɪmˈpɜːfɪkt/
adjective
1.
exhibiting or characterized by faults, mistakes, etc; defective
2.
not complete or finished; deficient
3.
(botany)
  1. (of flowers) lacking functional stamens or pistils
  2. (of fungi) not undergoing sexual reproduction
4.
(grammar) denoting a tense of verbs used most commonly in describing continuous or repeated past actions or events, as for example was walking as opposed to walked
5.
(law) (of a trust, an obligation, etc) lacking some necessary formality to make effective or binding; incomplete; legally unenforceable See also executory (sense 1)
6.
(music)
  1. (of a cadence) proceeding to the dominant from the tonic, subdominant, or any chord other than the dominant
  2. of or relating to all intervals other than the fourth, fifth, and octave Compare perfect (sense 9)
noun
7.
(grammar)
  1. the imperfect tense
  2. a verb in this tense
Derived Forms
imperfectly, adverb
imperfectness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for imperfect
adj.

mid-14c., imperfite, from Old French imparfait, from Latin imperfectus "unfinished, incomplete," from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + perfectus (see perfect). Replaced mid-16c. by the Latin form. Related: Imperfectly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for imperfect

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for imperfect

18
0
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with imperfect