Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not perfect.
  • adjective Grammar Of or being the tense of a verb that shows, usually in the past, an action or a condition as incomplete, continuous, or coincident with another action.
  • adjective Botany Having either stamens or a pistil only. Used of a flower.
  • adjective Not reproducing sexually. Used of fungi.
  • adjective Law Potentially unenforceable; limited or defective.
  • noun A piece of merchandise having a minor flaw that does not impair its use, usually sold at a discount.
  • noun The imperfect tense.
  • noun A verb in the imperfect tense.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To render imperfect.
  • Not perfect; lacking completeness, correctness, or excellence; falling short of a standard or ideal; defective; incomplete: as, an imperfect copy of a book; imperfect vision.
  • Characterized by or subject to defects; not completely good; frail; inadequate.
  • In gram., designating incomplete or continuous action, or action or condition conceived as in process when something else takes place, as in Latin amabat, French aimait, Greek ε%27λνε, as distinguished from the simple past forms (aoristic), without further implication, amavit, aima, ε%27λνσε.
  • In music. See the phrases below.
  • Unjust; unfair.
  • Weak, erring.
  • noun In grammar, an imperfect tense; a past continuous tense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To make imperfect.
  • noun (Gram.) The imperfect tense; or the form of a verb denoting the imperfect tense.
  • adjective Not perfect; not complete in all its parts; wanting a part; deective; deficient.
  • adjective Wanting in some elementary organ that is essential to successful or normal activity.
  • adjective Not fulfilling its design; not realizing an ideal; not conformed to a standard or rule; not satisfying the taste or conscience; esthetically or morally defective.
  • adjective an arch of less than a semicircle; a skew arch.
  • adjective (Mus.) one not ending with the tonic, but with the dominant or some other chord; one not giving complete rest; a half close.
  • adjective (Mus.) chords like the third and sixth, whose ratios are less simple than those of the fifth and forth.
  • adjective (Bot.) a flower wanting either stamens or pistils.
  • adjective (Mus.) one a semitone less than perfect.
  • adjective (Math.) a number either greater or less than the sum of its several divisors; in the former case, it is called also a defective number; in the latter, an abundant number.
  • adjective (Law) obligations as of charity or gratitude, which cannot be enforced by law.
  • adjective (Math.) a number which can not be produced by taking any whole number or vulgar fraction, as a factor, the number of times indicated by the power; thus, 9 is a perfect square, but an imperfect cube.
  • adjective (Gram.) a tense expressing past time and incomplete action.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Not perfect
  • adjective botany unisexual: having either male (with stamens) or female (with pistil) flowers, but not with both.
  • adjective taxonomy Known or expected to be polyphyletic, as of a form taxon.
  • noun Something having a minor flaw
  • noun grammar A tense of verbs used in describing a past action that is incomplete or continuous.

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

  • noun a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going
  • adjective wanting in moral strength, courage, or will; having the attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine beings
  • adjective not perfect; defective or inadequate

Etymologies

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

[Middle English imparfit, from Old French imparfait, from Latin imperfectus : in-, not; see in– + perfectus, perfect; see perfect.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

im- +‎ perfect

Examples

  • Rabbi Yaakov and Rebbetzin Yosefa free, delicious popcorn knowing that being imperfect is just fine endorphins and serotonin sixties-revival music feeling rich and lucky

    Archive 2009-09-01

  • And too often, balls were called "perfect" before they stopped rolling in imperfect spots.

    ESPN/ABC in the rough on British Open coverage

  • Catholics that are not reconciled to the Church by means of the sacraments are also in imperfect communion, no?

    A bit more on Holy Communion and non-Catholic Christians

  • Rabbi Yaakov and Rebbetzin Yosefa free, delicious popcorn knowing that being imperfect is just fine endorphins and serotonin sixties-revival music feeling rich and lucky

    Felix et errabunda XXXIX

  • What makes the comparison of the perfect Taj and the “perfect” Apple so imperfect is that the vision of the Taj came from the heart, while the Apple products are for a specific customer segment who are willing to pay a premium.

    What the Taj Mahal and Apple Have in Common

  • I see fleeting planets spin, warp, cut in imperfect time and mothers, heart-twisted all bidding you open your mouth, little love.

    Little Love (funded!)

  • In place of these programs and the premiums we now contribute to them, and along with catastrophic insurance, the government should create a new form of health savings account — a vehicle that has existed, though in imperfect form, since 2003.

    How American Health Care Killed My Father

  • In place of these programs and the premiums we now contribute to them, and along with catastrophic insurance, the government should create a new form of health savings account — a vehicle that has existed, though in imperfect form, since 2003.

    How American Health Care Killed My Father

  • I see fleeting planets spin, warp, cut in imperfect time and mothers, heart-twisted all bidding you open your mouth, little love.

    Little Love (funded!)

  • WD: I find superheroes kind of dull, so Ethan was meant to be imperfect from the start.

    Writer Unboxed » Blog Archive » AUTHOR INTERVIEW: William Dietrich, part 1

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