• synonyms


  1. tending to make perfect; conducive to perfection.
  2. Grammar. noting an aspect of verbal inflection, as in Russian, that indicates completion of the action or state denoted by the verb.
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noun Grammar.
  1. the perfective aspect.
  2. a form in the perfective.
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Origin of perfective

From the Medieval Latin word perfectīvus, dating back to 1590–1600. See perfect, -ive
Related formsper·fec·tive·ly, adverbper·fec·tive·ness, per·fec·tiv·i·ty [pur-fek-tiv-i-tee] /ˌpɜr fɛkˈtɪv ɪ ti/, nounun·per·fec·tive, adjectiveun·per·fec·tive·ly, adverbun·per·fec·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for perfective

Historical Examples of perfective

  • So then passive good is, as was said, either conservative or perfective.

    The Advancement of Learning

    Francis Bacon

  • Created existences are not included in this act, and the knowledge of them is not perfective of the being of God.

  • The perfective part, said Proclus, precedes initiation, as initiation precedes inspection.

British Dictionary definitions for perfective


  1. tending to perfect
  2. grammar denoting an aspect of verbs in some languages, including English, used to express that the action or event described by the verb is or was completed: I lived in London for ten years is perfective; I have lived in London for ten years is imperfective, since the implication is that I still live in London
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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 perfective


1590s, from Medieval Latin perfectivus, from Latin perfect-, past participle stem of perficere (see perfect (adj.)). Grammatical use is from 1844.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper