imperfect


1im·per·fect

adjective \(ˌ)im-ˈpər-fikt\

: having mistakes or problems : not perfect

grammar : of or relating to a verb tense used to express an incomplete action in the past or a state that continued for a period of time in the past

Full Definition of IMPERFECT

1
:  not perfect: as
a :  defective
b of a flower :  having stamens or pistils but not both
c :  lacking or not involving sexual reproduction <the imperfect stage of a fungus>
2
:  of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense used to designate a continuing state or an incomplete action especially in the past
3
:  not enforceable at law
im·per·fect·ly \-fik(t)-lē\ adverb
im·per·fect·ness \-fik(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of IMPERFECT

  1. It's an imperfect solution to a difficult problem.
  2. He had an imperfect understanding of the task.
  3. In He was singing when I came in, was singing is in the imperfect tense.

Origin of IMPERFECT

alteration of Middle English imparfit, from Latin imperfectus, from in- + perfectus perfect
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

2imperfect

noun

Definition of IMPERFECT

:  an imperfect tense; also :  the verb form expressing it

First Known Use of IMPERFECT

1871

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

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