Denotation vs. Connotation


[per-fek-tuh-buh l] /pərˈfɛk tə bəl/
capable of becoming or of being made perfect; improvable.
Origin of perfectible
1625-35; < French < Medieval Latin perfectibilis. See perfect, -ible
Related forms
perfectibilist, noun
perfectibility, noun
nonperfectibility, noun
nonperfectible, adjective
self-perfectibility, noun
unperfectible, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for perfectibility
Historical Examples
  • If then humanity is indefinitely variable, perfectibility is possible.

  • But still he could not share his friends' belief in the perfectibility of mankind.

  • Vice and misery and the inexorable laws of population were a godsend to rescue the state from "the precipice of perfectibility."

  • Man cannot, then, surpass himself: man's perfectibility is not infinite.

  • Godwin believed in the perfectibility of the race, and proved that man's career has been a constant movement forward.

  • It is well to ponder, by the roar of the cataracts of the Nile, over the perfectibility of man.

    Sketches Benjamin Disraeli
  • He laughs at the perfectibility of the species, and holds that 'all things move, not in progress but in a ceaseless round.'

    Hours in a Library Leslie Stephen
  • He has no belief either in this natural paradise or in ‘Godwinian perfectibility.’

    Oxford Lectures on Poetry Andrew Cecil Bradley
  • Such are the memorable quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns, and the philosophe idea of perfectibility and human progress.

  • I am very glad to hear that you have been arguing against Nageli's law of perfectibility, which seems to me superfluous.

British Dictionary definitions for perfectibility


capable of becoming or being made perfect
Derived Forms
perfectibility, 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
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