Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective per·fect \ˈpər-fikt\

Simple Definition of perfect

  • : having no mistakes or flaws

  • : completely correct or accurate

  • : having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, situation, etc.

Full Definition of perfect

  1. 1 a :  being entirely without fault or defect :  flawless <a perfect diamond> b :  satisfying all requirements :  accurate c :  corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept <a perfect gentleman> d :  faithfully reproducing the original; specifically :  letter-perfect e :  legally valid

  2. 2 :  expert, proficient <practice makes perfect>

  3. 3 a :  pure, total b :  lacking in no essential detail :  complete c obsolete :  sane d :  absolute, unequivocal <enjoys perfect happiness> e :  of an extreme kind :  unmitigated <a perfect brat> <an act of perfect foolishness>

  4. 4 obsolete :  mature

  5. 5 :  of, relating to, or constituting a verb form or verbal that expresses an action or state completed at the time of speaking or at a time spoken of

  6. 6 obsolete a :  certain, sure b :  contented, satisfied

  7. 7 of a musical interval :  belonging to the consonances unison, fourth, fifth, and octave which retain their character when inverted and when raised or lowered by a half step become augmented or diminished

  8. 8 a :  sexually mature and fully differentiated <a perfect insect> b :  having both stamens and pistils in the same flower <a perfect flower>

per·fect·ness play \-fik(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of perfect

  1. He drew a perfect circle.

  2. She's a perfect baby. She hardly cries and she sleeps through the night.

  3. His behavior is a perfect example of what not to do.

  4. This is a perfect time to have a wedding.

  5. Going to the museum was a perfect way to spend a rainy day.

  6. Is that a big enough piece of pie? Yes, it's perfect, thanks.

Origin of perfect

Middle English parfit, from Anglo-French, from Latin perfectus, from past participle of perficere to carry out, perfect, from per- thoroughly + facere to make, do — more at do

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of perfect

perfect, whole, entire, intact mean not lacking or faulty in any particular. perfect implies the soundness and the excellence of every part, element, or quality of a thing frequently as an unattainable or theoretical state <a perfect set of teeth>. whole suggests a completeness or perfection that can be sought, gained, or regained <felt like a whole person again after vacation>. entire implies perfection deriving from integrity, soundness, or completeness of a thing <the entire Beethoven corpus>. intact implies retention of perfection of a thing in its natural or original state <the boat survived the storm intact>.



verb per·fect \pər-ˈfekt also ˈpər-fikt\

Simple Definition of perfect

  • : to make (something good) perfect or better

Full Definition of perfect

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to bring to final form

  3. 2 :  to make perfect :  improve, refine

per·fect·er noun

Examples of perfect

  1. <perfected the arrangements for their long-awaited European vacation>

  2. <an art teacher who seems to believe that you can always perfect a painting with some additional brush strokes>

14th Century

First Known Use of perfect

14th century



noun per·fect \ˈpər-fikt\

Definition of perfect

  1. :  the perfect tense of a language; also :  a verb form in the perfect tense


First Known Use of perfect


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up perfect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.