1

imperfect

adjective im·per·fect \ (ˌ)im-ˈpər-fikt \

Definition of imperfect

1 :not perfect: such as
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

imperfectly

play \(ˌ)im-ˈpər-fik(t)-lē\ adverb

imperfectness

play \(ˌ)im-ˈpər-fik(t)-nəs\ noun

Examples of imperfect in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of imperfect from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imperfect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of imperfect

alteration of Middle English imparfit, from Latin imperfectus, from in- + perfectus perfect

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


2

imperfect

noun

Definition of imperfect

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

Recent Examples of imperfect from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'imperfect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of imperfect

1871

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



IMPERFECT Defined for English Language Learners

imperfect

adjective

Definition of imperfect for English Language Learners

  • : 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


IMPERFECT Defined for Kids

imperfect

adjective im·per·fect \ im-ˈpər-fikt \

Definition of imperfect for Students

:having a fault of some kind :not perfect

imperfectly

adverb

Law Dictionary

imperfect

adjective im·per·fect

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


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serious difficulty or misfortune

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