- of, relating to, or characterized by defects or weaknesses: imperfect vision.
- not perfect; lacking completeness: imperfect knowledge.
- Grammar. noting action or state still in process at some temporal point of reference, particularly in the past.
- Law. being without legal effect or support; unenforceable.
- Botany. (of a flower) diclinous.
- Music. of or relating to the interval of a major or minor third or sixth.Compare perfect(def 13a).
- the imperfect tense.
- another verb formation or construction with imperfect meaning.
- a form in the imperfect, as Latin portābam, “I was carrying.”
Origin of imperfect
SynonymsSee more synonyms for imperfect on Thesaurus.com
1. defective, faulty. 2. incomplete, underdeveloped; immature.
2. complete, developed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for imperfect
Even an imperfect messenger is capable of delivering news everyone needs to hear.Bill Cosby Foe Hannibal Buress Joked About Date Rape
November 20, 2014
Though the grand jury is an imperfect forum for resolving social issues, it works very well in finding truth.There’s No Conspiracy in Ferguson’s Secret Jury
November 17, 2014
There was a fear growing inside of me that my imperfect bruised college experience was a reflection of my own damaged self.Freshman Year Sucks—and That’s OK
November 12, 2014
The problem was that, at least in Iowa, this model was imperfect.Did a Flawed Computer Model Sabotage the Democrats?
November 10, 2014
Himmler, for example, wanted to drop the imperfect British pounds on the United Kingdom by airplane.On the Trail of Nazi Counterfeiters
Dr. Kevin C. Ruffner
September 20, 2014
Yet how imperfect a glimpse do we obtain of him, through the medium of this, or any of his letters!A Book of Autographs
The best of us are imperfect judges of the happiness of others.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
Well, well, they shall be as imperfect as you like—any thing to please you.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
In proportion as the union is incomplete, the derived life is imperfect.A Dish Of Orts
The teaching may have been, as no doubt it was, of a very rude and imperfect sort; but it was done with a will.Self-Help
- exhibiting or characterized by faults, mistakes, etc; defective
- not complete or finished; deficient
- (of flowers) lacking functional stamens or pistils
- (of fungi) not undergoing sexual reproduction
- 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
- law (of a trust, an obligation, etc) lacking some necessary formality to make effective or binding; incomplete; legally unenforceableSee also executory (def. 1)
- (of a cadence) proceeding to the dominant from the tonic, subdominant, or any chord other than the dominant
- of or relating to all intervals other than the fourth, fifth, and octaveCompare perfect (def. 9)
- the imperfect tense
- a verb in this tense
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
Word Origin and History for imperfect
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper