• synonyms


  1. Grammar.
    1. perfect with respect to a point of reference in past time, as had done in He had done it when I came.
    2. designating a tense or other verb formation or construction with such meaning, as Latin portāveram “I had carried.”
  2. more than perfect: He spoke the language with pluperfect precision.
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noun Grammar.
    1. the pluperfect tense, or other verb formation or construction with such meaning.
    2. a form in the pluperfect.
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Origin of pluperfect

1520–30; < Latin plū(s quam) perfectum (more than) perfect, translation of Greek hypersyntelikós
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pluperfect

Historical Examples of pluperfect

  • Among rats the chieftain is, of necessity, pluperfect master of defence.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties"

    Douglas English

  • The rest as the pluperfect of gwîl, or of menny, to will, with the infinitive.

  • So it was in this pluperfect esteem that Amory by and by came to bask, with Cosimo as her showman.

    Gray youth

    Oliver Onions

  • The pluperfect (or past perfect) subjunctive refers to past time.

  • And where in the pluperfect hell do I dig up a precedent on that one?

British Dictionary definitions for pluperfect


adjective, noun
  1. grammar another term for past perfect
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Word Origin for pluperfect

C16: from the Latin phrase plūs quam perfectum more than 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 pluperfect


1520s, shortened from Latin (tempus praeteritum) plus (quam) perfectum "(past tense) more (than) perfect." Translates Greek khronos hypersyntelikos. See plus and perfect.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper