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.
Recent Examples on the Web
To me the beautiful thing is that imperfect perfect.—Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Considered an expression of wabi-sabi, or imperfect beauty, kokedama evolved from a bonsai technique used with plants whose roots have grown into the shape of their pots.—Jenny Comita, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 Like imperfect tapestries, some held the remains of different people.—Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 This is admittedly an imperfect exercise in Virginia, where absentee ballots were not allocated by precinct until very recently, which meant that presidential results by legislative district were only an estimate.—Nathaniel Rakich, ABC News, 16 Nov. 2023 Trending That’s also a Hunger Games staple, of course, and this imperfect yet surprising prequel knows that even those who haven’t read the book(s) will want that itch scratched.—David Fear, Rolling Stone, 16 Nov. 2023 Given how real clocks are never perfect, the researchers explored the impact that imperfect timing would have on quantum computers.—IEEE Spectrum, 13 Nov. 2023 Brush on random, imperfect strokes of crafts glue with a foam brush.—Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Nov. 2023 Microsoft's long-running Forza franchise actually has its origin in a neural net experiment, and more recently, its developers used each human player to train an AI agent that would populate their friends' games, albeit with imperfect results.—Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 1 Nov. 2023
But in 2002, a single study, its design imperfect, found links between hormone therapy and elevated health risks for women of all ages.—Susan Dominus, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2023 But that’s an imperfect means of protection, shown to miss anywhere from 30% to 70% of people who are in the early stages of an infection.—Melissa Healystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2023 Its endless affection for Jimmy is touching on one hand, propping him up as an imperfect soul who’s nevertheless worthy of Paul’s guidance, Sean’s trust and Alice’s love.—Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Jan. 2023 But putting a threatening bed of piano music under various winners as a way to signal whose time was less valuable seemed like an imperfect option: In this case, no overlong speaker was dithering, wasting time, or listing names.—Daniel D'addario, Variety, 10 Jan. 2023 The portraits of his mother and grandmother — two imperfect but loving, spirited women — are particularly vivid and appreciative.—Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Dec. 2022 The current study, in contrast, does not factor in any additional greenhouse gas emissions or specify when the melting would take place, making the comparison with the U.N. report imperfect.—Chris Mooney, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2022 This is a loving and unflinching portrait of a search for community, imperfect but constant.—Lauren Leblanc, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2022 Such contradictions, Kumashiro said, reflect how Asian Americans are navigating an imperfect system.—Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 3 Nov. 2022 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'imperfect.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
alteration of Middle English imparfit, from Latin imperfectus, from in- + perfectus perfect