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 But nowhere is the tactical expertise of the two mercenaries more evident than in the near-perfect defensive engagement that the Mandalorian and Cara Dune conduct in the show’s fourth episode, Sanctuary. Angry Staff Officer, Wired, "The Mandalorian Is the Only Smart Soldier in the Star Wars Galaxy," 14 Jan. 2020 It's not supposed to be perfect in January, but Xavier needs to start checking some of these boxes. Adam Baum,, "How to watch, listen and storylines to follow when Xavier basketball visits Marquette," 14 Jan. 2020 Steyer, the oft-donor to Democratic politicians, starts the interview on a less-than-perfect note. TheWeek, "Tom Steyer had a rough endorsement interview with The New York Times," 13 Jan. 2020 Re-creating the picture-perfect princess look is surprisingly doable and doesn’t require a trip across the pond. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Why Princess Diana Always Looked So Damn Good," 10 Jan. 2020 More of these fansites disappear all the time, and even the Wayback Machine isn’t able to keep even a near-perfect record. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Collected Dreams About Celine Dion," 10 Jan. 2020 After all, coastal communities don't love massive turbines disrupting a picture-perfect sunset. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The World's Largest Floating Wind Farm Is Already Hard at Work," 9 Jan. 2020 The whole experience, floating from one provocative thing to another, amounts to a near-perfect blend of profundity and ephemera—like one’s own thoughts, mercifully elevated. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "The Paris Review, a Poem a Day, and an Iran Explainer: Three Podcasts to Listen to in January," 7 Jan. 2020 Severson said the alert system isn't perfect, but is useful nonetheless. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Suspect in custody for Waukesha County Courthouse bomb threat, sheriff's department says," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Engineers have nearly perfected the self-driving car. John Hirschauer, National Review, "The Impossible Idea," 25 Dec. 2019 One of Five Points’ newest eateries has perfected the art of the chicken tenders. al, "7 new Birmingham places to add to your 2020 dining list," 17 Dec. 2019 Thigh Times Birdhouse Jared Brewington and the team behind Funky Grits have perfected their The Original Chicken Wrib — deboned chicken thighs in a house sauce — for the masses. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "New North Loop food hall features Ono Hawaiian, Wrecktangle Pizza — and Prince-themed cocktails," 17 Dec. 2019 Leo has perfected the art with dishes like peppers and broccolini doused in olive oil or fioretto cauliflower with Calabrian chili and fennel seeds. Lizzie Noonan, Bon Appétit, "How to Make Even the Most Stubborn Winter Vegetables Taste Like Luxury," 16 Dec. 2019 Thankfully, 11 Vogue editors have perfected at least one fail-safe outfit formula to help get you through the endless list of occasions: winter dresses. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "How and Where to Wear the Best Winter Dresses, According to 13 Vogue Editors," 8 Nov. 2019 The British have perfected dark mysteries, ones in which the palette (visually and emotionally) ranges only from grey to black. Mike Hughes,, "Here's your ultimate guide to new Halloween movies, TV shows," 23 Oct. 2019 The Dolphins have perfected second-half collapses, and that’s exactly what happened in Sunday’s loss to the Bills. Kenny Rosarion,, "Instant Analysis: Buffalo Bills 31, Miami Dolphins 21," 20 Oct. 2019 The Broncos have perfected losing close games, and struggle moving the ball on the ground and stopping the run. Barry Wilner, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Quoth the coach: To be a Raven, you must beat the Steelers," 5 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In How to Speak Machine, Maeda heaps scorn on classical designers who cling to the traditional view that the designer’s role is to create perfect, finished objects suitable for curation in a museum. Fortune, "These Books Will Help You Understand the Relationship Between Human and Machine," 28 Dec. 2019 From a fondue set to a bouquet of charcuterie to a molecular gastronomy kit, all of these gifts are *chef's kiss* perfect. CNN Money, "31 creative gift ideas for your favorite home cooks and foodies," 13 Dec. 2019 Atlanta — 'Tis the season, where everything's picture-perfect. Mark Strassmann, CBS News, "New Christmas photo trend has parents hoping their kids will cry with Santa," 9 Dec. 2019 Or Essie ambassador Jonathan Van Ness, whose mosaic rainbow mani earlier this summer was nothing short (pun intended) of perfect. Neha Prakash, Allure, "Gel Manicures on Short Nails Are the Most Popular Nail Trend for Fall," 16 Sep. 2019 In some ways, this new Greedo scene fits perfects as Disney tries to thread the needle and make Star Wars universally beloved by adults and kids alike. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 'Han Shot First' Debate Just Took the Dumbest Turn Imaginable," 12 Nov. 2019 The only thing that's missing to make this the *perfect* kiss? Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How to Get Kissable Lips," 23 Oct. 2019 On the morning of April 25, 2018, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Omarion Jordan came into the world ten-fingers-and-toes perfect. Jessica Ravitz, Smithsonian, "These Scientists May Have Found a Cure for ‘Bubble Boy’ Disease," 19 Nov. 2019 The clincher was Cordts scrambling around just long enough for TJ Rucker to get open and behind the Peoria secondary for a picture-perfect, 44-yard scoring play and the winning points after Cordts tacked on a 2-point conversion. azcentral, "Arizona high school football Week 11 roundup: Williams Field holds on to top rival Higley," 1 Nov. 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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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

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Perfect.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 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

Comments on perfect

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experienced by way of someone else

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