Definitions

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

  • adj. Capable of becoming perfect or being made perfect: perfectible prose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Able to be perfected; capable of perfection

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Capable of becoming, or being made, perfect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Capable of becoming or being made perfect, or of arriving at the utmost perfection possible.

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

  • adj. capable of becoming or being made perfect

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

perfect +‎ -ible

Examples

  • The term perfectible, thus explained, not only does not imply the capacity of being brought to perfection, but stands in express opposition to it.

    Enquiry Concerning Political Justice

  • Rather than be burdened by the thought that man's nature is imperfect, these so-called progressives swoon to the thought of the perfectibility of man's nature -- perfectible, that is, if only government is allowed to intrude ever further and impose rules drawn from increasingly abstract speculations about what the good life demands.

    American Thinker

  • Yet some triumphs of philanthropy hardly seemed to endanger the conclusion that, while knowledge is indefinitely progressive, there is no good reason for sanguine hopes that man is "perfectible" or that universal happiness is attainable.

    The Idea of Progress An inguiry into its origin and growth

  • In the sense in which Mr Godwin understands the term 'perfectible', the perfectibility of man cannot be asserted, unless the preceding propositions could have been clearly established.

    An Essay on the Principle of Population

  • The standard analysis sees the political right as having a tragic vision in which human nature is permanently afflicted by limitations of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue, and the political right (sic) having a utopian vision in which human nature is naturally innocent, but corrupted by defective social institutions and perfectible by reformed ones.

    I Heart Steven Pinker, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • We insist on redemption so that we can view ourselves as perfectible, reflecting our fear at the prospect that we may not be.

    Leonce Gaiter: The Help: Redemption, and Genuflecting at the Altar of Ourselves

  • Do you believe that rational egoism, the application of natural law, and higher reason can point the way to a perfectible society?

    What's Your Problem?

  • His ideas about the potential of a perfectible, all-seeing "Kino-Eye" to unveil a new reality spring vividly to life in "Man With a Movie Camera," shot in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa.

    Visualize a Soviet Utopia

  • For the purpose of my argument Rousseau was a romantic idealist who believed in individualism and and that the human condition was perfectible, and he was, in fact, these things.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Collapse of Latvia

  • Both suffer from the same utopian views of human nature, considering it closer to perfectible than to fallen.

    A defense of capitalism

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