per·​fect | \ ˈpər-fikt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \

Definition of perfect

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 : expert, proficient practice makes perfect
3a : 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 obsolete : mature
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 obsolete
a : certain, sure
7 of a musical interval : belonging to the consonances unison, fourth, fifth, and octave which become augmented or diminished when raised or lowered by a half step
8a : sexually mature and fully differentiated a perfect insect
b : having both stamens and pistils in the same flower a perfect flower


per·​fect | \ pər-ˈfekt How to pronounce perfect (audio) also ˈpər-fikt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \
perfected; perfecting; perfects

Definition of perfect (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to bring to final form
2 : to make perfect : improve, refine


per·​fect | \ ˈpər-fikt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \

Definition of perfect (Entry 3 of 3)

: the perfect tense of a language also : a verb form in the perfect tense

Other Words from perfect


perfectness \ ˈpər-​fik(t)-​nəs How to pronounce perfect (audio) \ noun


perfecter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of perfect in a Sentence

Adjective He drew a perfect circle. She's a perfect baby. She hardly cries and she sleeps through the night. His behavior is a perfect example of what not to do. This is a perfect time to have a wedding. Going to the museum was a perfect way to spend a rainy day. “Is that a big enough piece of pie?” “Yes, it's perfect, thanks.” Verb perfected the arrangements for their long-awaited European vacation an art teacher who seems to believe that you can always perfect a painting with some additional brush strokes See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The earbuds themselves have touch controls that work fine, but aren’t perfect. Christian De Looper, BGR, 7 Aug. 2022 The slip-on style is perfect for those always on the move and the open back offers more breathability for your ankle. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 6 Aug. 2022 There are many possible ways to allocate assessments and no method is perfect. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Aug. 2022 Belly Conklin is not perfect, neither are her love interests. Olachi Ihekwaba, CNN, 5 Aug. 2022 Arkansas Hard-nosed simplicity is perfect for Sam Pittman’s scrappy club. Ben Flanagan |, al, 4 Aug. 2022 The edgy look of poured concrete is also perfect for any risk-takers or city dwellers with modern style out there. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 4 Aug. 2022 The script, pacing, editing, music—basically everything about this production—are perfect. Simon Hill, Wired, 4 Aug. 2022 Pasties, like Booby Tape's silicone nipple covers, minimize nipple visibility, and that's perfect for people who want to be a bit more discreet. Jasmine Washington, Seventeen, 4 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After forging, Kamimura grinds and polishes the knife to smooth and perfect it, and attaches a custom wooden handle. Devorah Lev-tov, Robb Report, 25 July 2022 Wilde then brought on Katie Silberman, one of her co-writers on Booksmart, to perfect it. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 27 Apr. 2022 Mirror worlds give us the opportunity to create new experiences for users and perfect them through data analysis. Rodolfo Salazar, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 But Tway couldn’t stop tinkering with his swing, forever trying to perfect it, and won only three more times in his career — three coming in playoffs in lesser tour stops. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 To perfect them, creative teams often have to play a long game, sometimes with stunning outcomes. Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2022 To correct any mistakes and perfect the lines, keep cotton swabs and a bottle of micellar water on hand. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 26 July 2022 The Ramona Wildlife Center offers the cub trio a place to learn, practice, and perfect their survival skills while growing into large, healthy bears. Kelli Bender,, 18 July 2022 Maurer, however, isn’t interested in large-scale manufacturing, and would rather perfect the technology and license it out. Lucas Daprile, cleveland, 12 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thanks to the three-stage H13 HEPA filtration system, the air purifier easily traps up to 99.97 perfect of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, including pet dander, odors, smoke, dust, and mold. Amy Schulman, Peoplemag, 3 Aug. 2022 After a number of fizzled chances, Portland finally broke through in the 38th minute on a perfect through ball from left to right by Blanco to a streaking Chara, who finished strong after a soft touch. oregonlive, 18 June 2022 Portland’s best chance of the first half came on a perfect through ball from Christine Sinclair to Sophia Smith. oregonlive, 13 May 2022 Harry Swartz swung a perfect through ball in behind Phoenix’s back line setting striker Nico Brett up for a first-time finish past Ben Lundt. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 20 Apr. 2022 Unfortunately, his previous owner was experiencing homelessness and recognized their inability to properly care for him any longer thus their decision to give him a chance at finding the perfect forever home. The Republic, The Arizona Republic, 18 Mar. 2022 Schwartz’s second suggestion is not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2022 In other words, Norway didn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. New York Times, 11 Jan. 2022 There’s a tangible sweetness behind the notion of two imperfect people finding each other perfect. Courtney Howard, Variety, 5 Nov. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of perfect


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for perfect

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The first known use of perfect was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Perfect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for perfect


per·​fect | \ ˈpər-fikt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \

Kids Definition of perfect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having no mistake or flaw a perfect plan a perfect diamond
2 : satisfying all requirements It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
3 : thoroughly skilled or trained : meeting the highest standards a perfect performance
4 : total entry 1 sense 3 perfect silence

Other Words from perfect

perfectly adverb


per·​fect | \ pər-ˈfekt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \
perfected; perfecting

Kids Definition of perfect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to improve (something) so that it has no flaws


per·​fect | \ ˈpər-fikt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \

Legal Definition of perfect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: entirely without fault or defect: as
a : satisfying all requirements failed to make perfect tender
b : free from any valid legal objection : valid and effective at law having perfect title to the property — compare imperfect


transitive verb
per·​fect | \ pər-ˈfekt How to pronounce perfect (audio) \

Legal Definition of perfect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to complete or put in final conformity with the law: as
a : to make (an appeal) ready for transfer to an appeals court by satisfying procedural requirements
b : to put (one's security interest) in a position or status having priority over subsequently perfected security interests or unperfected security interests by taking statutorily prescribed steps to give notice especially by filing a financing statement or taking possession of the collateral was the first creditor to perfect its security interest in the debtor's collateral, and, thus, was the first in priority for the collateralCommercial Bank v. Pride Furniture, Inc., 877 P.2d 1222 (1994) — compare attach sense 3

intransitive verb

: to make something (as a security interest) complete, in conformity with the law, or valid against third-party claims

Other Words from perfect

perfection \ pər-​ˈfek-​shən How to pronounce perfect (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on perfect

Nglish: Translation of perfect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perfect for Arabic Speakers


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