Definition of perfect in English:


Line breaks: per|fect


Pronunciation: /ˈpəːfɪkt
  • 3 Mathematics (Of a number) equal to the sum of its positive divisors, e.g. the number 6, whose divisors (1, 2, 3) also add up to 6.
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    • Prior to publishing, he also found an upper bound on the least prime divisor of an odd perfect number.
    • Many mathematicians were interested in perfect numbers and tried to contribute to the theory.
    • He who affirms that all perfect numbers end with the figure 6 or 8 are right.
  • 4 Grammar (Of a tense) denoting a completed action or a state or habitual action which began in the past. The perfect tense is formed in English with have or has and the past participle, as in they have eaten and they have been eating ( present perfect), they had eaten ( past perfect), and they will have eaten ( future perfect).
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    • It has seven vowels, it has no perfect tenses, it is chock-a-block with suffixes and its syntax is baroque.
    • First, it is relevant to the formation of the perfect tense in many European languages.
  • 5 Botany (Of a flower) having both stamens and carpels present and functional.
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    • Pistillate flowers are usually smaller than perfect flowers and produce nectar with lower sugar concentration.
  • 5.1 Entomology (Of an insect) fully adult and (typically) winged.
  • 6 Botany Denoting the stage or state of a fungus in which the sexually produced spores are formed.


Pronunciation: /pəˈfɛkt
[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Make (something) completely free from faults or defects; make as good as possible: he’s busy perfecting his bowling technique
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    • The staff busied itself with perfecting a peacetime organization which meshed closely with the demands of war, so that the chaos of 1870 could never be repeated.
    • With this knowledge, he perfected the tendon transplant technique through which he carried out reconstructive surgery on those with damaged hands and feet.
    • You see, grace builds upon nature; it doesn't destroy nature, but builds upon it and perfects it.
    improve, make perfect, bring to perfection, better, polish (up), burnish, hone, refine, consummate, put the finishing/final touches to, ameliorate, brush up, fine-tune
    rare meliorate
  • 1.1 archaic Bring to completion; finish: then urg’d, she perfects her illustrious toils
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    • I would like tomorrow to be done with, complete, perfected.
  • 1.2Complete (a printed sheet of paper) by printing the second side: the heap was normally printed as white paper in the morning, turned at the midday break, and perfected in the afternoon
    More example sentences
    • Having perfected his angsty, sheeny whine, he sounds good, even if he seems to spend most of this album jabbering about how late it is and what the weather's like in some city or other.
    • He has since perfected his ‘soft-spoken, man-out-of-place’ style of acting, but here it is very much in test mode.
  • 1.3 Law Satisfy the necessary conditions or requirements for the transfer of (a gift, title, etc.): equity will not perfect an imperfect gift
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    • The donor, having by then changed his mind, declines to perfect the imperfect gift in favour of the intended donee.
    • It was submitted by the bank before the judge and before this court that, notwithstanding that the garnishee order nisi was not perfected, a genuine belief that the bank was entitled to act as it did was a defence to the claim.
    • The limits of any jurisdiction to vacate orders made and perfected by courts of appeal have not been examined or stated by this Court in the criminal sphere.


Pronunciation: /ˈpəːfɪkt
(the perfect) Grammar Back to top  
  • The perfect tense.



Pronunciation: /ˈpəːfɛktə/
More example sentences
  • Republican Abraham Lincoln's legacy is that of a Union perfecter.
  • Cornishmen of a different stamp emerged: John Opie, the precocious portraitist and art theoretician, Richard Trevithick, wrestler and inventor of high-pressure steam traction, Humphry Davy, perfecter of the miner's safety lamp.
  • Religion, on the other hand, would appear to have been the inventor of the technique and the perfecter of its practice.


Pronunciation: /pəˌfɛktɪˈbɪlɪti/
More example sentences
  • The domestic gaming machine functions as a box within a box, where the rule-based environment of the game, with its fantasies of perfectibility and perfect control, is played out within the regulated space of the home.
  • On the other side were the Enlightenment humanists who believed in infinite perfectibility through education and nonviolence as adopted by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
  • For instance, one difference lies in in Benjamin Franklin's approach to his errata - we are often told he believed in the Enlightenment tradition of the perfectibility of man.


Pronunciation: /pəˈfɛktɪb(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • Just as she believed man to be continuously perfectible, so too could republics become increasingly enlightened until they achieved her ideal of national freedom enhanced by intellectual cosmopolitanism.
  • That said, it is important in a way that many other screeds only wish to be, and, in an easily perfectible world, would serve as a rallying cry for tax reform.
  • The Western Romantics believed that their societies were perfectible and could be salvaged from within.


More example sentences
  • His characteristic manner soon brought customers from near and far and his perfectness in hair styling was always much admired.
  • And why do they want to drag everyone they know into their world of perceived perfectness?
  • He said that the students come out with the ideas themselves and also execute them with great perfectness.


Middle English: from Old French perfet, from Latin perfectus 'completed', from the verb perficere, from per- 'through, completely' + facere 'do'.

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