Meaning of PERFECT in English

I. ˈpərfikt, ˈpə̄f-, ˈpəif-, -fēkt adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: alteration (influenced by Latin perfectus ) of Middle English perfit, parfit, from OFrench parfit, from Latin perfectus perfect, from past participle of perficere to carry out, complete, perfect, from per-, prefix denoting completion or perfection + -ficere (from facere to do, make) — more at per- , do

1. : accomplished in knowledge or performance : expert , proficient

men more perfect in the use of arms — Shakespeare

— used chiefly in the phrase practice makes perfect


a. : entirely without fault or defect : meeting supreme standards of excellence : flawless

a perfect technique

a perfect gem

a perfect crime

must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect — Mt 5:48 (Revised Standard Version)

a starched shirtfront … if it is not perfect is nothing — Robert Lynd

b. : satisfying all requirements: as

(1) : having precision of form or identity of relationship : accurate , exact

perfect circle

only the stronger and more perfect parts of his music reach me — John Burroughs

its cleavage is in perfect parallel with the base — Encyc. Americana

(2) : corresponding to an archetype : having all the proper characteristics : ideal

a perfect gentleman

the perfect Christmas gift

perfect money should be … endowed with unchanging purchasing power — Ludwig Von Mises

we, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union — U.S. Constitution

(3) : conforming in every particular to an abstract concept

a gas thermometer containing a perfect gas … would give readings directly on Kelvin's thermodynamic scale of temperature — L.C.Jackson

(4) : faithfully reproducing the original

a perfect likeness

record engineers … finally succeeded in giving us music that was acoustically perfect — E.T.Canby

specifically : letter-perfect

(5) : free from any valid legal objection : valid and effective in law

a perfect title


a. : free from admixture or limitation : pure , total

the dim trees below me were in perfect stillness — John Galsworthy

b. : lacking in no essential detail : fully developed : complete , whole

have a perfect baby

the memory of that night remained intact and perfect — Elinor Wylie

complete justification of belief does not depend on … perfect knowledge — W.F.Hambly

c. obsolete : possessing all one's mental faculties : sane

I fear I am not in my perfect mind — Shakespeare

d. : being without qualification : absolute , unequivocal

God possesses perfect power — Charles Hartshorne

has a perfect right to use this division — James Jeans

treats him like a perfect stranger

looks like a perfect angel in her organdy pinafore

e. : of an extreme kind : unmitigated

a perfect little snob — Eugene Walter

a perfect tirade of abuse — S.H.Holbrook

the dog had been in a perfect frenzy, trying to get out — Erle Stanley Gardner

4. obsolete : fully grown or legally competent : mature

sons at perfect age — Shakespeare


[Late Latin perfectus, from Latin]

: of, relating to, or constituting a form of the verb or verbal that expresses an action or state completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of — compare future perfect , past perfect , present perfect

6. obsolete

a. : certain , sure

thou art perfect then, our ship hath touched upon … Bohemia — Shakespeare

b. : satisfied , content

then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect — Shakespeare


a. of an interval : belonging to the consonances (as unison, fourth, fifth, and octave) that retain their character when inverted and when raised or lowered by a half step become augmented or diminished — compare major


(1) : of or relating to a note (as a large) in mensural notation equaling three rather than two of the next lower denomination (as a long)

(2) of a rhythmic mode : being in triple time


a. : having its distinctive characters fully developed : typical

a perfect lesion

a perfect jellyfish

b. : sexually mature and fully differentiated — used especially of an insect in the imago stage

the click beetle (the perfect stage of the wireworm) — Farming

c. : monoclinous

II. pə(r)ˈfekt sometimes ˈpərfikt or ˈpə̄f- or ˈpəif- transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: alteration (influenced by Latin perfectus ) of Middle English perfiten, parfiten, from perfit, parfit, adjective

1. : to bring to a state of supreme excellence : rid of faults or drawbacks : improve , refine

art must be selective; nature must be perfected — G.C.Sellery

rhetoric … seeks to perfect men by showing them better versions of themselves — R.M.Weaver

laboratory methods for examining foods had been still further perfected — V.G.Heiser


a. : to plan or carry out to the last detail : bring to a successful conclusion : finish

arrangements we're perfecting to keep newspaper reporters from bothering you — Erle Stanley Gardner

youthful leaners who desired to … perfect their education — H.O.Taylor

b. : to complete or put in final form in conformity with law

to defeat the federal priority a lien … must be both specific and perfected — Harvard Law Review

c. : to print the second side of (a sheet already printed on one side) : back up

3. : to instruct or inform fully

the object of this society is … to perfect its members practically and scientifically — G.B.Cummings

Synonyms: see unfold

III. like perfect I adverb

Etymology: alteration (influenced by Latin perfectus ) of Middle English perfit, parfit, from perfit, parfit, adjective

chiefly dialect : perfectly

IV. like perfect I noun

( -s )

Etymology: perfect (I)

1. : one that is perfect

the perfects go into one bag and the rejects into another — Listener


a. : the perfect tense of a language

b. : a verb form in the perfect tense

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.