Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.
  • adj. Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen.
  • adj. Thoroughly skilled or talented in a certain field or area; proficient.
  • adj. Completely suited for a particular purpose or situation: She was the perfect actress for the part.
  • adj. Completely corresponding to a description, standard, or type: a perfect circle; a perfect gentleman.
  • adj. Accurately reproducing an original: a perfect copy of the painting.
  • adj. Complete; thorough; utter: a perfect fool.
  • adj. Pure; undiluted; unmixed: perfect red.
  • adj. Excellent and delightful in all respects: a perfect day.
  • adj. Botany Having both stamens and pistils in the same flower; monoclinous.
  • adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or constituting a verb form expressing action completed prior to a fixed point of reference in time.
  • adj. Music Designating the three basic intervals of the octave, fourth, and fifth.
  • n. Grammar The perfect tense.
  • n. A verb or verb form in the perfect tense.
  • transitive v. To bring to perfection or completion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fitting its definition precisely.
  • adj. Having all of its parts in harmony with a common purpose.
  • adj. Thoroughly skilled or talented.
  • adj. Excellent and delightful in all respects.
  • adj. Representing a completed action.
  • adj. Sexually mature and fully differentiated.
  • adj. Of flowers, having both male (stamens) and female (carpels) parts.
  • adj. Of a set, that it is equal to its set of limit points, i.e. set A is perfect if A=A'.
  • adj. describing an interval or any compound interval of a unison, octave, or fourths and fifths that are not tritones
  • adj. Made with equal parts of sweet and dry vermouth.
  • v. To make perfect; to improve or hone.
  • v. To take an action, usually the filing of a document in the correct venue, that secures a legal right.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Brought to consummation or completeness; completed; not defective nor redundant; having all the properties or qualities requisite to its nature and kind; without flaw, fault, or blemish; without error; mature; whole; pure; sound; right; correct.
  • adj. Well informed; certain; sure.
  • adj. Hermaphrodite; having both stamens and pistils; -- said of flower.
  • n. The perfect tense, or a form in that tense.
  • transitive v. To make perfect; to finish or complete, so as to leave nothing wanting; to give to anything all that is requisite to its nature and kind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Brought to a consummation; fully finished; carried through to completion in every detail; finished in every part; completed.
  • Full; whole; entire; complete; existing in the widest extent or highest degree.
  • In botany, having both stamens and pistils; hermaphrodite: said of a flower, also of a whole plant, as opposed to monæcious, diæcious, etc.
  • Without blemish or defect; lacking in nothing; of the best, highest, or most complete type; exact or unquestionable in every particular: as, a perfect likeness; one perfect but many imperfect specimens; a perfect face; specifically, complete in moral excellence; entirely good.
  • Sound; of sound mind; sane.
  • Completely skilled; thoroughly trained or efficient: as, perfect in discipline. Compare letter-perfect.
  • Completely effective; satisfactory in every respect.
  • Quite certain; assured.
  • Entire; out and out; utter; very great: as, a perfect horror of serpents; a perfect shower of brickbats met them; a perfect stranger.
  • In music: Of an interval, melodic or harmonic, belonging to the first and simplest group of consonances, that in which inversion does not change the character of the interval: as, a perfect unison, octave, fifth, or fourth: opposed to imperfect, diminished, augmented. These intervals are now often also called major.
  • Of a chord, cadence, or period, complete; fully satisfactory. Thus, a perfect chord or triad is a triad, major or minor, in its original position; a perfect cadence is a simple authentic or plagal cadence; and a perfect period is one that is fully balanced or filled out.
  • In medieval music, of rhythm, time, or measure, triple. See measure
  • Synonyms Faultless, blameless, unblemished, holy.
  • n. In grammar, the perfect tense. See above.
  • To finish or complete so as to leave nothing wanting; bring to completion or perfection: as, to perfect a picture or a statue.
  • To make perfect; instruct fully; make fully informed or skilled: as, to perfect one's self in the principles of architecture; to perfect soldiers in discipline.
  • Synonyms To accomplish, consummate.
  • In the Echinodermata, having the entire series of ambulacral plates perforated from pole to pole, that is, from base to summit of corona.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish
  • v. make perfect or complete
  • n. a tense of verbs used in describing action that has been completed (sometimes regarded as perfective aspect)
  • adj. without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers
  • adj. precisely accurate or exact

Etymologies

Middle English perfit, from Old French parfit, from Latin perfectus, past participle of perficere, to finish : per-, per- + facere, to do.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English perfit, from Old French parfit (modern: parfait), from Latin perfectus, perfect passive participle of perficere ("to finish"), from per- ("through, thorough") + facere ("to do, to make"). (Wiktionary)
From perfect (adjective) or from Latin perfectus (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I've used 'perfuct' for years. Very satisfying!

    May 28, 2011

  • How 'bout "perfuct" ?
    I do love rolig's "Per-fuckin-fection". Gonna have to employ it at the very first opportunity. Perhaps after Mr dontcry's beer can chicken tonight...

    May 28, 2011

  • Whoops, thanks, Joel. Edited.

    May 22, 2011

  • "A luxury hotel chain needs to trademark this word immediately. "

    As in:

    Are you one of the power elite? Then think of the Sofitel Manhattan. Perfect for your next intimate rendezvous.

    May 22, 2011

  • You meant 'fan-fucking' right?

    May 22, 2011

  • Wow, pterodactyl, that's true! You can say "fan-fucking-tastic" but "marv-fucking-elous" sounds weird.

    May 22, 2011

  • Foxy, that sounds like something Sylvester the Cat might say (or I am thinking of Daffy Duck?).
    *wonders if Fox is brushing up on his Deutsch*

    May 22, 2011

  • Bilby beat me to my comment. Also, shouldn't that be per-pfucking-pfection?

    May 22, 2011

  • unrite of unright unwrite?? and its (positive and negative) variations, combinations and permutations. i.e. rite of right write

    May 22, 2011

  • I'm worried that people who are writing down unwritten rules are breaking an unwritten rule that unwritten rules should not be written.

    May 22, 2011

  • But "Per-fuckin-fection!" might work, eh? Note the nice alliteration.

    May 22, 2011

  • There's an unwritten rule in English that when you insert an expletive into another word, it must precede a stressed syllable. So, for example, you can talk about "Phila-fuckin'-delphia", because "del" is a stressed syllable, but you cannot talk about "Philadel-fuckin'-phia", because "phi" is not a stressed syllable.

    So "Per-fuckin'-fect" is out. I think the closest permissible equivalent is "Fuckin' perfect!", which I do hear occasionally.

    May 22, 2011

  • But do people now say "Per-fuckin-fect!"?
    *not sorry that I'm a little out of it*

    May 22, 2011

  • On a positive note, the use of absolutely in such contexts appears to have withered.

    May 22, 2011

  • Anyone else notice how the word 'perfect' is taking over the world? Instead of yes, ok, thanks, or any acknowledgement of any kind, the answer is now 'perfect'. A luxury hotel chain needs to trademark this word immediately.

    May 21, 2011

  • For another example, see ulna.

    April 19, 2011

  • Used in the Same Context
    Time · accidental · active · aorist · beautiful · cattle · certainty

    April 13, 2011

  • I think it refers to bisexual in a botanical sense, i.e. monœcious.

    April 13, 2011

  • I can see problems. Like a gymnast coming in with a bisexual 10 on the pommel horse and then being disqualified under gender rules.

    April 13, 2011

  • You're looking at a list of definitions, not synonyms. And yes, I can actually imagine exclaiming "Oh! Bisexual!" every time something is perfect. I think it would be funny - although I'm sure the novelty would wear off.

    April 12, 2011

  • Since when is "bisexual" a synonym for "perfect"? That listing is bizarre.
    Can you imagine exclaiming "Oh! Bisexual!" every time something is perfect?

    April 12, 2011

  • I love Alanis's lyrics.

    May 9, 2007

  • "Be a good boy
    Push a little farther now
    That wasn't fast enough
    To make us happy
    We'll love you just the way you are
    if you're perfect"

    January 10, 2007