Definition of perfect in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpərfikt/
1Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be: she strove to be the perfect wife life certainly isn’t perfect at the moment
More example sentences
  • Four hundred years later the kayak is still unchanged in its basic design, because for its size it is as near as possible to being a perfect boat.
  • For me to achieve a perfect throw requires concentration and luck.
  • What I love about your characters is the perfect balance of cute and sinister, attraction and repulsion.
ideal, model, without fault, faultless, flawless, consummate, quintessential, exemplary, best, ultimate, copybook;
unrivaled, unequaled, matchless, unparalleled, beyond compare, without equal, second to none, too good to be true, utopian, incomparable, nonpareil, peerless, inimitable, unexcelled, unsurpassed, unsurpassable
1.1Free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless: the equipment was in perfect condition
More example sentences
  • As I landed it I was amazed at its excellent condition and perfect fins.
  • It is very important to note that she was wearing a white frilly dress that was still in perfect condition.
  • Very few goods - especially those on display - are in perfect, pristine condition.
flawless, mint, as good as new, pristine, impeccable, immaculate, superb, superlative, optimum, prime, optimal, peak, excellent, faultless, as sound as a bell, unspoiled, unblemished, undamaged, spotless, unmarred, picture-perfect
informal tip-top, A1
1.2Precisely accurate; exact: a perfect circle
More example sentences
  • I spun in a complete circle, delivering mortal wounds to all of them with perfect precision.
  • These deposit themselves with perfect precision on a gold-coated silicon substrate.
  • With perfect precision he swerved in between cars and into the other lane.
exact, precise, accurate, faithful, correct, unerring, inerrant, right, true, strict
informal on the money
1.3Highly suitable for someone or something; exactly right: Gary was perfect for her—ten years older and with his own career
More example sentences
  • The location is perfect and is the ideal last bar to visit.
  • She's got real skill as a comedienne and the super-perkiness of the character is a perfect fit for her talents.
  • In short he's got the perfect character profile to be a really accomplished singer-songwriter.
ideal, just right, right, appropriate, fitting, fit, suitable, apt, made to order, tailor-made;
1.4 Printing Denoting a way of binding books in which pages are glued to the spine rather than sewn together.
1.5 dated Thoroughly trained in or conversant with: she was perfect in French
2 [attributive] Absolute; complete (used for emphasis): a perfect stranger all that Joseph said made perfect sense to me
More example sentences
  • Like all parental guilt trips, the reasoning behind it made absolute and perfect sense.
  • A thought's breadth away, a woman of perfect absolutes stood in a field of death.
  • Structurally this makes perfect sense, as life gets denser and more morally complex as you go through your teenage years.
absolute, complete, total, real, out-and-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, downright, utter, sheer, arrant, unmitigated, unqualified, veritable, in every respect, unalloyed
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.
Example sentences
  • 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 that 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 (since dawn) ( present perfect), they had eaten ( past perfect), and they will have eaten ( future perfect).
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • Pistillate flowers are usually smaller than perfect flowers and produce nectar with lower sugar concentration.
5.1 Botany Denoting the stage or state of a fungus in which the sexually produced spores are formed.
5.2 Entomology (Of an insect) fully adult and (typically) winged.


Pronunciation: /pərˈfekt/
[with object]
1Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible: he’s busy perfecting his bowling technique
More example sentences
  • 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, better, polish (up), hone, refine, put the finishing/final touches to, brush up, fine-tune
1.1 archaic Bring to completion; finish.
Example sentences
  • I would like tomorrow to be done with, complete, perfected.
1.2Complete (a printed sheet of paper) by printing the second side.
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
More example sentences
  • 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: /ˈpərfikt/
(the perfect) Grammar
The perfect tense.


In the literal sense, perfect and unique are absolute words and should not be modified, as they often are in such phrases as most perfect, quite unique, etc. See also unique (usage).



Pronunciation: /pərˈfektər/
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: /pərˌfektəˈbilədē/
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: /pərˈfektəb(ə)l/
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈpərfək(t)nəs/
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'.

  • The basic sense of perfect is ‘completely made’. It is from Old French perfet, from Latin perfectus, formed from per- ‘through, completely’ and facere ‘to do’. The early sense of the related perfection (Middle English) was ‘completeness’.

Words that rhyme with perfect

affect, bisect, bull-necked, collect, confect, connect, correct, defect, deflect, deject, detect, direct, effect, eject, elect, erect, expect, infect, inflect, inject, inspect, interconnect, interject, intersect, misdirect, neglect, object, project, prospect, protect, reflect, reject, respect, resurrect, sect, select, subject, suspect, transect, unchecked, Utrecht imperfect, pluperfect, word-perfect

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: per·fect

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