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[adjective, noun pur-fikt; verb per-fekt] /adjective, noun ˈpɜr fɪkt; verb pərˈfɛkt/
conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type:
a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.
excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement:
There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.
exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose:
a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.
entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings:
a perfect apple; the perfect crime.
accurate, exact, or correct in every detail:
a perfect copy.
thorough; complete; utter:
perfect strangers.
pure or unmixed:
perfect yellow.
unqualified; absolute:
He has perfect control over his followers.
expert; accomplished; proficient:
She will need a perfect driving teacher.
unmitigated; out-and-out; of an extreme degree:
He made a perfect fool of himself.
  1. having all parts or members present.
  2. monoclinous.
  1. noting an action or state brought to a close prior to some temporal point of reference, in contrast to imperfect or incomplete action.
  2. designating a tense or other verb formation or construction with such meaning.
  1. applied to the consonances of unison, octave, and fifth, as distinguished from those of the third and sixth, which are called imperfect.
  2. applied to the intervals, harmonic or melodic, of an octave, fifth, and fourth in their normal form, as opposed to augmented and diminished.
Mathematics. (of a set) equal to its set of accumulation points.
Obsolete. assured or certain.
noun, Grammar.
the perfect tense.
a verb form or construction in the perfect tense.
verb (used with object)
to bring to completion; finish.
to bring to perfection; make flawless or faultless:
He has succeeded in perfecting his recipe for chicken Kiev.
to bring nearer to perfection; improve; make better:
She works hard to perfect her writing.
to make fully skilled.
Printing. to print the reverse of (a printed sheet).
Origin of perfect
1250-1300; < Latin perfectus, past participle of perficere to finish, bring to completion (per- per- + -fec-, combining form of facere to do1 + -tus past participle suffix); replacing Middle English parfit < Old French < Latin as above
Related forms
perfectedly, adverb
perfecter, noun
perfectness, noun
nonperfected, adjective
quasi-perfect, adjective
quasi-perfectly, adverb
self-perfecting, adjective
superperfect, adjective
superperfectly, adverb
unperfect, adjective
unperfected, adjective
Can be confused
perfect, prefect.
4. unblemished; faultless.
Synonym Study
1, 2. See complete.
Usage note
A few usage guides still object to the use of comparison words such as more, most, nearly, almost, and rather with perfect on the grounds that perfect describes an absolute, yes-or-no condition that cannot logically be said to exist in varying degrees. The English language has never agreed to this limitation. Since its earliest use in the 13th century, perfect has, like almost all adjectives, been compared, first in the now obsolete forms perfecter and perfectest, and more recently with more, most, and similar comparison words: the most perfect arrangement of color and line imaginable. Perfect is compared in most of its general senses in all varieties of speech and writing. After all, one of the objectives of the writers of the U.S. Constitution was “to form a more perfect union.” See also complete, unique. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perfectness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What is common to them all,that perfectness and harmony, is beauty.

    Nature Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • But demuth signifies "a likeness," or "the perfectness of an image."

  • And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

    Sanctification J. W. Byers
  • We then say that the classic does not satisfy us, and that the "Grecian cloys us with his perfectness."

    The Sense of Beauty George Santayana
  • The tares must be taken away in order to the perfectness and usefulness of the wheat.

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • So, then, He who has created the soul will bring it to perfectness.

  • Now, this ideal is clearly one of perfectness and completeness of mere form.

  • It happened to come to me in perfectness when I was young—love.

  • No science has as yet arrived at completeness and perfectness.

British Dictionary definitions for perfectness


adjective (ˈpɜːfɪkt)
having all essential elements
unblemished; faultless: a perfect gemstone
correct or precise: perfect timing
utter or absolute: a perfect stranger
excellent in all respects: a perfect day
(maths) exactly divisible into equal integral or polynomial roots: 36 is a perfect square
  1. (of flowers) having functional stamens and pistils
  2. (of plants) having all parts present
(grammar) denoting a tense of verbs used in describing an action that has been completed by the subject. In English this is a compound tense, formed with have or has plus the past participle
  1. of or relating to the intervals of the unison, fourth, fifth, and octave
  2. Also full, final. (of a cadence) ending on the tonic chord, giving a feeling of conclusion Compare imperfect (sense 6)
(archaic) positive certain, or assured
noun (ˈpɜːfɪkt)
  1. the perfect tense
  2. a verb in this tense
verb (transitive) (pəˈfɛkt)
to make perfect; improve to one's satisfaction: he is in Paris to perfect his French
to make fully accomplished
(printing) to print the reverse side of (a printed sheet of paper)
Derived Forms
perfectness, noun
Usage note
For most of its meanings, the adjective perfect describes an absolute state, i.e. one that cannot be qualified; thus something is either perfect or not perfect, and cannot be more perfect or less perfect. However when perfect means excellent in all respects, a comparative can be used with it without absurdity: the next day the weather was even more perfect
Word Origin
C13: from Latin perfectus, from perficere to perform, from per through + facere to do
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
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Word Origin and History for perfectness



early 15c. alteration of Middle English parfit (c.1300), from Old French parfit "finished, completed, ready" (11c.), from Latin perfectus "completed, excellent, accomplished, exquisite," past participle of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete," from per- "completely" (see per) + facere "to perform" (see factitious). Often used in English as an intensive (perfect stranger, etc.).



"to bring to full development," late 14c., parfiten, from perfect (adj.). Related: Perfected; perfecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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