[adjective, noun pur-fikt; verb per-fekt]


noun Grammar.

the perfect tense.
a verb form or construction in the perfect tense.Compare future perfect, pluperfect, present perfect.

verb (used with object)

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 formsper·fect·ed·ly, adverbper·fect·er, nounper·fect·ness, nounnon·per·fect·ed, adjectivequa·si-per·fect, adjectivequa·si-per·fect·ly, adverbself-per·fect·ing, adjectivesu·per·per·fect, adjectivesu·per·per·fect·ly, adverbun·per·fect, adjectiveun·per·fect·ed, adjective
Can be confusedperfect prefect

Synonyms for perfect

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for perfected

Contemporary Examples of perfected

Historical Examples of perfected

  • I'd rather settle on the water; at least, until some gigantic system of irrigation is perfected in the West.

  • My time for action had now arrived; my plans had been perfected and I resolved to act at once.

  • Their origin seems to have been perfectly natural, but the systems themselves must have been perfected very slowly.

    The Number Concept

    Levi Leonard Conant

  • The lover sees, divines what the artist can only guess at, and the artist offers to the lover a perfected technique.

    The Beauty

    Mrs. Wilson Woodrow

  • If J. Rufus should "lay down on them" before the covering machine was perfected, they were in a bad case.

    Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford

    George Randolph Chester

British Dictionary definitions for perfected


adjective (ˈpɜːfɪkt)

having all essential elements
unblemished; faultlessa perfect gemstone
correct or preciseperfect timing
utter or absolutea perfect stranger
excellent in all respectsa perfect day
maths exactly divisible into equal integral or polynomial roots36 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 conclusionCompare imperfect (def. 6)
archaic positive certain, or assured

noun (ˈpɜːfɪkt)

  1. the perfect tense
  2. a verb in this tense

verb (pəˈfɛkt) (tr)

to make perfect; improve to one's satisfactionhe is in Paris to perfect his French
to make fully accomplished
printing to print the reverse side of (a printed sheet of paper)
Derived Formsperfectness, noun

Word Origin for perfect

C13: from Latin perfectus, from perficere to perform, from per through + facere to do


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
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 perfected



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