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 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

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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 At 29 inches tall and just 12 inches wide, this compact fire column is perfect for smaller yards and porches. Travel + Leisure, "Turn Your Backyard Into a Cozy Vacation Paradise With These 9 Fire Pits," 17 May 2020 The fit was perfect: the right size, the right values, passionate professors, close proximity to family in Manitowoc. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'What am I going to do now?' Wisconsin colleges rush to help Holy Family students transition," 15 May 2020 From eggy quiches to oniony pissaladières, savory tarts are perfect for an elegant brunch, easy lunch, or light dinner. Saveur, "Savory Tarts," 15 May 2020 While no test is perfect, Abbott's ID NOW is delivering reliable results when and where they're needed most. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, "Abbott's fast Covid-19 test may miss too many cases, NYU study finds," 13 May 2020 And while no measure is perfect, the increase in deaths offers the most complete picture of the pandemic’s toll, demographers say., "Latin America’s outbreaks now rival Europe’s," 12 May 2020 The chocolate chip cookie cereal is a childhood dream that's perfect for any meal of the day. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Chocolate Chip Cookie Cereal Is the Best Breakfast for Anyone with a Serious Sweet Tooth," 12 May 2020 In the real world, testing conditions and process are far from perfect, and accuracy suffers. Maureen Ferran, The Conversation, "Coronavirus tests are pretty accurate, but far from perfect," 6 May 2020 Tropical flowers are cast on long dresses perfect for a beachside brunch or night under the summer moon. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mary Katrantzou’s New Capsule Collection Has Us Dreaming of Beachside Vacations," 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wind players regularly spend hours fashioning and perfecting their reeds. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, "Farewell, Texas; Aloha, Hawaii: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra musicians Karen and Kevin Hall will soon retire in paradise," 19 May 2020 Run is bursting with tropes that the romance genre has perfected. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Why HBO's Run is the thirstiest show on TV right now," 17 May 2020 Wagner said that experience gave the restaurant group the opportunity to iron out details, including perfecting an online payment system and creating seamless, safe ways to give customers their meals. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lowlands Group will reopen Cafe Hollander, Benelux and Centraal locations for curbside pickup, delivery service," 12 May 2020 Climate-change skeptics have employed techniques perfected in the fight over global warming to raise doubts about the deadliness of the virus. Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, "Fight Over Virus’s Death Toll Opens Grim New Front in Election Battle," 9 May 2020 In the clip, Lopez can be heard sharing some of her secrets to perfecting the dance move with Shakira. Claudia Harmata,, "Jennifer Lopez Gives Shakira a Booty Shaking Tutorial in Super Bowl Rehearsal Footage," 3 May 2020 To mark the occasion, People shared a sweet anecdote from royal hair stylist Richard Ward, who perfected Kate's bouncy curls on the big day. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Prince William Helped With Kate Middleton’s Hair on Their Wedding Day," 30 Apr. 2020 If the United States is to be run by a man who has perfected the paranoid style, the least its citizens might expect is a little of that paranoia when it is actually needed. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Vector in Chief," 29 Apr. 2020 The researchers thought the chatbot would perfect its conversational skills through interaction with users. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Facebook creates the most ‘human’ chatbot yet," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. Shira Ovide, New York Times, "Frequently Asked Questions and Advice," 11 Apr. 2020 The property sits in close proximity to the Katy Trail and only a few blocks from Knox-Henderson, which DiPenti said makes the property perfect for those seeking a walkable lifestyle. Mary Grace Metheny, Dallas News, "Check out this 1970s Frank Welch-designed townhouse in Uptown Dallas," 27 Feb. 2020 Guests also have access to the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, the Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana’s sister property — making the property perfect for groups with a range of ages and interests or multi-generational families. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, "The Best All-inclusive Family Resorts (Video)," 13 Feb. 2020 From point-and-shoots perfect for those upgrading from their phone camera, to monstrous, full-frame, 4K video-capable mirrorless and DSLR cameras, there's deals for every skill level, aspiration, and budget. Wired, "The Best Camera and Photography Deals for Black Friday," 27 Nov. 2019 The Orion StarBlast 6 is a portable tabletop telescope that sports a 6-inch aperture perfect for seeing craters in the moon, dust clouds in nebulas, and detailed views of objects both here in our Solar System and well beyond. Popular Science, "Four stellar telescopes for every stargazer," 9 Apr. 2020 That’s because my emulation of the PPU is not one hundred percent cycle-perfect. Ars Technica, "How SNES emulators got a few pixels from complete perfection," 1 Apr. 2020 Whatever your preference, here are four failproof methods to cook the perfect boiled egg. NBC News, "How to make perfect (and easy to peel) boiled eggs every time," 19 Oct. 2019 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

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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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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perfect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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) 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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