View synonyms for imperfect


[ im-pur-fikt ]


  1. relating to or characterized by defects or weaknesses:

    With my imperfect vision I couldn’t make out the street name.

    Synonyms: faulty, defective

  2. not perfect; lacking completeness:

    Human knowledge on all subjects is imperfect.

    Synonyms: immature, underdeveloped, incomplete

    Antonyms: complete

  3. Grammar. designating a verb aspect, tense, or other verb category used to express an action or state still in process at some point of reference in time, especially in the past.
  4. Law. being without legal effect or support; unenforceable.
  5. Botany. (of a flower) diclinous.
  6. Music. of or relating to the interval of a major or minor third or sixth. Compare perfect ( def 11a ).


, Grammar.
    1. in some languages, a verb aspect, tense, or other verb category used to express an action or state still in process at some point of reference in time, especially in the past.
    2. an instance or form of a specific verb in such an aspect, tense, or construction, such as Latin portābam “I was carrying.”


/ ɪmˈpɜːfɪkt /


  1. exhibiting or characterized by faults, mistakes, etc; defective
  2. not complete or finished; deficient
  3. botany
    1. (of flowers) lacking functional stamens or pistils
    2. (of fungi) not undergoing sexual reproduction
  4. grammar denoting a tense of verbs used most commonly in describing continuous or repeated past actions or events, as for example was walking as opposed to walked
  5. law (of a trust, an obligation, etc) lacking some necessary formality to make effective or binding; incomplete; legally unenforceable See also executory
  6. music
    1. (of a cadence) proceeding to the dominant from the tonic, subdominant, or any chord other than the dominant
    2. of or relating to all intervals other than the fourth, fifth, and octave Compare perfect


  1. grammar
    1. the imperfect tense
    2. a verb in this tense

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Derived Forms

  • imˈperfectly, adverb
  • imˈperfectness, noun

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Other Words From

  • im·per·fect·ly adverb
  • im·per·fect·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of imperfect1

First recorded in 1300–50; from Latin imperfectus “unfinished”; equivalent to im- 2 + perfect; replacing Middle English imparfit, from Middle French imparfait, from Latin, as above

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Example Sentences

“Poker is the main benchmark and challenge program for games of imperfect information,” Sandholm told me on a warm spring afternoon in 2018, when we met in his offices in Pittsburgh.

Apple’s counter to this is its SKAdNetwork, an imperfect application programming interface it launched two years ago, that developers can use to get basic data about their in-app ad campaign performance.

From Digiday

Tired of technology that isolates us from one another, people are seeking out and placing greater value on physical, authentic, and imperfect experiences delivered by humans.

Layering imperfect interventions can, in a similar way, slow down transmission.

The way that I would view it is that the world is imperfect because we haven’t used science in policy making.

Even an imperfect messenger is capable of delivering news everyone needs to hear.

Though the grand jury is an imperfect forum for resolving social issues, it works very well in finding truth.

There was a fear growing inside of me that my imperfect bruised college experience was a reflection of my own damaged self.

The problem was that, at least in Iowa, this model was imperfect.

Himmler, for example, wanted to drop the imperfect British pounds on the United Kingdom by airplane.

Where these overtones are interfered with by any imperfection in the instrument the result is a harsh or imperfect sound.

We suffer, nearly all of us, from a lack of quantitative grasp and from an imperfect grasp of form.

A coquette is said to be an imperfect incarnation of Cupid, as she keeps her beau, and not her arrows, in a quiver.

On the part of the believer, his faith and imperfect obedience, though necessary, are not a condition.

This description is only imperfect in this point that sufficient stress is not laid on the words fall off.


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imperf.imperfect competition