Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[per-fek-shuh-niz-uh m] /pərˈfɛk ʃəˌnɪz əm/
any of various doctrines holding that religious, moral, social, or political perfection is attainable.
a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands perfection and rejects anything less.
Origin of perfectionism
An Americanism dating back to 1830-40; perfection + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for perfectionism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • perfectionism: defining the term as referring to God's righteousness, and not self-righteousness.

    History of American Socialisms

    John Humphrey Noyes
  • perfectionism, no less than isolationism or imperialism or power politics, may obstruct the paths to international peace.

  • This is the application of perfectionism to politics, which was originally a religious notion.

    Abolition a Sedition Geo. W. Donohue
  • When he happens to be guilty of a fault, he is in a state of lapse; at other times in a state of perfectionism.

    Abolition a Sedition Geo. W. Donohue
  • We know it is a doctrine of perfectionism, but it is not a practicable doctrine, in our opinion.

    Abolition a Sedition Geo. W. Donohue
British Dictionary definitions for perfectionism


(philosophy) the doctrine that man can attain perfection in this life
the demand for the highest standard of excellence
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
Cite This Source
perfectionism in Medicine

perfectionism per·fec·tion·ism (pər-fěk'shə-nĭz'əm)
A tendency to set rigid high standards of personal performance.

per·fec'tion·ist adj. & n.
per·fec'tion·is'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for perfectionism

Word Value for perfectionism

Scrabble Words With Friends