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
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 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

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Other Words from perfect


perfectness \ ˈpər-​fik(t)-​nəs How to pronounce perfectness (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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Del Risco’s characters are hardly perfect, but their loyalty to their friends remains intact while their homeland is collapsing and their neighborhoods are being changed by new waves of immigrants from Central America. Coco Fusco, The New York Review of Books, "Love Among the Ruins," 24 Mar. 2020 The home's record-breaking boathouse comes with a Yamaha twin-engine jet boat, two jet skis, kayak and the second-largest boatslip on the lake, perfect for party barges and entertaining. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Newly-listed, $3M Kingwood home boasts the largest boat house on Lake Houston," 23 Mar. 2020 The lace-up sandal is simple but perfect, thanks to its cage-like lace-up ties that adjust to your size. Taylor Ayers, Marie Claire, "Lace-Up Sandals Are 2020's Statement Alternative to Heels," 23 Mar. 2020 What to Do Stroll along postcard-perfect Waikiki Beach to admire the hula dancers and poi spinners, or take a dip in the warm water, which hovers around 77 degrees in the winter and 82 degrees in the summer. Sunset Magazine, "Seek out These Hidden Gems for a Secluded Hawaii Getaway," 21 Mar. 2020 For a long-term investor who doesn’t have to worry about perfect timing, there should be opportunities to buy good stocks at attractive prices. The Economist, "Buttonwood The agonies of stock-picking in a falling market," 21 Mar. 2020 Our predictive system—even when informed by decades of data—is not perfect, and some of the people excluded from offers would have welcomed them. Kaiser Fung, Wired, "The Problem With Trump's Triage Testing," 18 Mar. 2020 But the fact is, some of these guns made perfect sense at the time, although maybe things didn’t work out as planned. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "Six of the Strangest Guns Ever Made," 18 Mar. 2020 But that would have required the near-perfect alignment of competing variables. Damon Linker, TheWeek, "It's over for Bernie Sanders," 18 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With early start times and long hours, the 34-year-old California native has perfected a super simple — yet effective — morning routine that gets her ready to take on the day. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "Kaley Cuoco's Morning Routine Is Perfect For Anyone Who's Not A Morning Person," 20 Mar. 2020 Netflix’s On My Block has perfected the art of the cliffhanger. Ariana Romero,, "Will We Get An On My Block Season 4? Here’s What The Creators Say," 17 Mar. 2020 Wood has perfected Dolores’s combination of vulnerability and cool lethality. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: The Perfect Timing of ‘Westworld’ Season 3," 12 Mar. 2020 Bieber's songs through the years have perfected the fun, repetitive earworm. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Justin Bieber's 'Changes' through the years, from 'Baby' star to serious 'Intentions'," 12 Feb. 2020 By this point in the campaign, each of the candidates has perfected their talking points using months of audience feedback from their stump speeches, press coverage and, yes, internal polls. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Perils of Going Negative," 15 Jan. 2020 As a multimillion-dollar business, Goop has perfected the art of manufacturing hope. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Sure, The Goop Lab Is Absurd—but It Also Offers Hope," 24 Jan. 2020 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has perfected the art of creating new versions and special editions of its models in order to stoke consumer interest. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "The far out and futuristic cars of CES," 9 Jan. 2020 Alban’s mysterious death while in custody bears a sordid resemblance to the fate of many a Cuban who refused to bend to the Castro regime, which has perfected the art of creatively disposing of dissidents. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Cuba Holds the Keys to Venezuela," 14 Oct. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 30-year-old perfects new beers the brewery will produce and also pushes boundaries with more extreme ideas for recipes. oregonlive, "Breakside Brewery’s Natalie Baldwin pushes boundaries with ‘instinct and feeling’," 3 Mar. 2020 Designed for young audiences, but perfect for music lovers of all ages. Shane Harrison, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta: Jan. 31-Feb. 8," 30 Jan. 2020 Christmas week in Indianapolis saw residents gifted a dry, warm holiday stretch perfect for shopping, visiting and giving back in Central Indiana. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis weather: A warm weekend before rain and snow returns to the forecast," 26 Dec. 2019 The dabbas—which are most commonly made from stainless steel—typically contain small bowls for each spice and a tiny spoon perfect for scooping and sprinkling. Khushbu Shah, Saveur, "10 Essential Indian Cooking Tools for Making Perfect Flatbreads, Fritters, and Curries," 26 Jan. 2016 That part was letter-perfect, the Ducks’ thorough 89-56 dismantling of Stanford at Mandalay Bay Events Center to win their second Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament title in three years. oregonlive, "Minyon Moore has her day, and Oregon celebrates a Pac-12 tournament championship with cupcake wars," 8 Mar. 2020 Please, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Cleveland Heights residents have their say -- pro and con -- on Top of the Hill project," 24 Feb. 2020 The castle also includes a chapel and an extremely spacious backyard perfect for hosting parties...or, well, wedding receptions! Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, "You and 15 Friends Can Stay in This Spanish Castle Equipped With a Chapel for $24 a Night Per Person," 7 Feb. 2020 Choose your favorite, then top the whole look off with a studded lip adornment ($10) perfect to shock the whole family at holiday dinner. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Exclusive: Here's Every Single Item in M.A.C.'s Holiday Collection," 7 Oct. 2019

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.

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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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Learn More about perfect

Time Traveler for perfect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for perfect

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perfect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for perfect


How to pronounce perfect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perfect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having no mistakes or flaws
: completely correct or accurate
: having all the qualities you want in that kind of person, situation, etc.


How to pronounce perfect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of perfect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something good) perfect or better


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
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 perfection (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on perfect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for perfect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with perfect

Spanish Central: Translation of perfect

Nglish: Translation of perfect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of perfect for Arabic Speakers

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