Meaning of PERFECT in English

I. per ‧ fect 1 S2 W2 /ˈpɜːfɪkt $ ˈpɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ perfection ≠ ↑ imperfection , ↑ perfectionist , ↑ perfectionism , ↑ perfectibility ; adjective : ↑ perfect ≠ ↑ imperfect , ↑ perfectible , ↑ perfectionist ; verb : ↑ perfect ; adverb : ↑ perfectly ≠ ↑ imperfectly ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: parfit , from Latin perfectus , past participle of perficere 'to do completely, finish' ]

1 . not having any mistakes, faults, or damage OPP imperfect :

His English was perfect.

The car was in perfect condition.

You’re very lucky to have perfect teeth.

a perfect performance

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need an army.

2 . as good as possible, or the best of its kind:

The weather was perfect the whole week.

a perfect example of Gothic architecture

The clothes were a perfect fit.

a perfect solution to the problem

Ronnie was in perfect health.

perfect timing (=used when something happens at exactly the right time)

Good, you’re home. Perfect timing – dinner’s on the table.

3 . exactly what is needed for a particular purpose, situation, or person SYN ideal :

That’s perfect! Just the way I wanted it to look.

Crusty bread is the perfect accompaniment to this soup.

perfect for

The land is perfect for sheep farming.

perfect way/place/time etc to do something

She thought she’d found the perfect place to live.

perfect day/place/person etc for something

a perfect day for a picnic

the perfect actor for the part

4 . nobody’s perfect spoken said when you are answering someone who has criticized you or someone else:

So I made a mistake! Nobody’s perfect.

5 . have a perfect right to do something used to emphasize that it is reasonable for someone to do something:

He has a perfect right to know what’s happening.

6 . perfect stranger/fool/angel etc used to emphasize that someone has a particular quality completely SYN complete , total :

I felt a perfect idiot.

⇨ ↑ perfectly , ⇨ practice makes perfect at ↑ practice (9), ⇨ ↑ present perfect , ↑ past perfect

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1, 2 & 3)

■ adverbs

▪ absolutely perfect

His sight is absolutely perfect.

▪ quite perfect written (=absolutely perfect)

The old bottle was very dark blue and quite perfect.

▪ almost/nearly/near perfect

His collection included an almost perfect skeleton of an armadillo.


Her performance was near perfect.

▪ less than perfect (=not perfect)

So many excellent writers, for example Byron and Keats, were less than perfect spellers.

▪ far from perfect (=not at all perfect)

The weather conditions were far from perfect.

▪ technically perfect

The system was technically perfect.

• • •


■ without anything wrong

▪ perfect used about something that is very good in every way, and could not be better:

We had a wonderful vacation - the weather was perfect.


The meal was absolutely perfect.


She has perfect teeth.

▪ flawless/faultless without any mistakes or faults:

His English was flawless.


a faultless performance

▪ impeccable so good that you cannot find anything wrong with it – used especially about someone’s behaviour, taste, or experience:

The food was excellent and the service impeccable.


a man of impeccable manners, charm, and sensibility


her mother's impeccable taste in clothing


The commission was composed of economists with impeccable credentials (=very impressive qualifications and experience, which are impossible to criticize) .

▪ unspoiled ( also unspoilt British English ) an unspoiled area has not been changed or had ugly buildings, roads etc built on it:

a beautiful area of unspoiled countryside

■ most suitable

▪ perfect completely suitable for something or someone:

It’s the perfect place to relax after a hard day at work.


It was a perfect day for going to the beach.


I think she would be perfect for him.

▪ ideal very suitable and exactly what you want – often used about someone or something that you imagine, but which does not really exist:

What would be your ideal job?


She still hasn’t found her ideal man.


It is the ideal place for a vacation.

▪ just right especially spoken very good or suitable in every way:

The weather was just right for a day at the beach.


The dress is just right for you.

▪ be just the thing/person informal to be exactly what is needed or wanted:

Cold lemonade is just the thing on a hot day.


He’s just the person for the job.

II. per ‧ fect 2 /pəˈfekt $ pər-/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ perfection ≠ ↑ imperfection , ↑ perfectionist , ↑ perfectionism , ↑ perfectibility ; adjective : ↑ perfect ≠ ↑ imperfect , ↑ perfectible , ↑ perfectionist ; verb : ↑ perfect ; adverb : ↑ perfectly ≠ ↑ imperfectly ]

to make something as good as you are able to:

Mock trials help students perfect their legal skills.

III. per ‧ fect 3 /ˈpɜːfɪkt $ ˈpɜːr-/ BrE AmE noun

the perfect technical the form of a verb which is used when talking about a period of time up to and including the present. In English, it is formed with ‘have’ and the past participle. SYN present perfect

⇨ ↑ past perfect

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.