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 Williams picked the perfect time to rediscover his range. Globe Staff,, 16 May 2022 His slippers have seen a lot of wear in the last year, which means Father's Day is the perfect time to give his beloved house shoes a refresh. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 16 May 2022 Biss, a former math professor at the University of Chicago (and the current mayor of Evanston, Illinois), accepted my request to make a similarly preposterous formula for calculating the perfect time to arrive at a party. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 13 May 2022 In the 32nd minute, Thorns midfielder Meghan Klingenberg found herself in front of her own goal at the perfect time as the ball deflected off her and away from danger. oregonlive, 13 May 2022 With temperatures finally reaching the 70s and 80s in southeast Michigan, now may seem like the perfect time to start tending to those overgrown, winter-weary yards. Lauren Wethington, Detroit Free Press, 11 May 2022 There is never a perfect time to branch out and start your own business—but there is the right time. Rachel King, Fortune, 8 May 2022 May is starting off with a bang and this DraftKings promo code is arriving at the perfect time for fans. Xl Media, cleveland, 6 May 2022 Father’s Day is swiftly approaching, which means now is the perfect time to get a head-start on your Father’s Day plans and gifts. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Engineers spent two years working to perfect the sound coming out of the Z06's exhaust pipes, according to GM. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 26 Oct. 2021 Creating the popcorn brand, from working with Rob and Greg to perfect the recipe to partnering up with The Naked Market earlier this year, was a process that took about 2.5 years. Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 The following year, Blue Origin received a patent for landing rocket boosters on ships at sea — a feat SpaceX had been working to perfect and others had conceived of as well. Washington Post, 21 May 2021 Track remains a fairly new sport for Gethers, who is working to perfect his starts out of the blocks, which could lower his times further. Dave Melton,, 10 May 2021 While some of us covet that perfect red lipstick, an alluring perfume, or that rosy blush, my new can’t-live-without product is the Beauty Bakerie’s Flour Setting Powder. Kiana Murden, Vogue, 4 Mar. 2022 That arrangement has reaped huge profits for major labels and for superstars while decimating smaller-scale musical incomes—as perfect an embodiment of the winner-takes-all neoliberal economy as has yet been devised. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 2 Feb. 2022 The report says Apple might need a few years to perfect the technology. Chris Smith, BGR, 4 June 2021 In the months before the Olympics began, the band would get together after work, trying to perfect a few different songs. New York Times, 12 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 The Flight Attendant is controlled chaos and a perfect for a binge. Savannah Salazar, Vulture, 17 Sep. 2021 The quirkiness of the internet and web’s design was the apotheosis of ensuring that the perfect would not be the enemy of the good. Jonathan Zittrain, The Atlantic, 30 June 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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The first known use of perfect was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Perfect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 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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