Simple Definition of imperfect
: 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
imperfectlyplay \-fik(t)-lē\ adverb
imperfectnessplay \-fik(t)-nəs\ noun
Examples of imperfect in a sentence
It's an imperfect solution to a difficult problem.
He had an imperfect understanding of the task.
In “He was singing when I came in,” “was singing” is in the imperfect tense.
Origin and Etymology of imperfect
alteration of Middle English imparfit, from Latin imperfectus, from in- + perfectus perfect
First Known Use: 14th century
Definition of imperfect
: an imperfect tense; also : the verb form expressing it
First Known Use of imperfect
IMPERFECT Defined for Kids
Definition of imperfect for Students
: having a fault of some kind : not perfect
Legal Definition of imperfect
: not perfect or complete: as a : not enforceable : enforceable only under certain conditions <an imperfect obligation> b : lacking an element otherwise required by law — compare perfect
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up imperfect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).