imperfect

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English imperfit, from Old French imparfit (modern: imparfait), from Latin imperfectus. Spelling modified 15c. to conform Latin etymology. See im- +‎ perfect.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪmˈpɝːfɪkt/, /ɪmˈpɝːfɛkt/
    (file)

Adjective[edit]

imperfect (comparative more imperfect, superlative most imperfect)

  1. Not perfect.
    • Shakespeare
      Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect.
    • Milton
      Nothing imperfect or deficient left / Of all that he created.
    • Alexander Pope
      Then say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; / Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought.
  2. (botany) unisexual: having either male (with stamens) or female (with pistil) flowers, but not with both.
  3. (taxonomy) Known or expected to be polyphyletic, as of a form taxon.
  4. (obsolete) Lacking some elementary organ that is essential to successful or normal activity.
    • Jeremy Taylor
      He [] stammered like a child, or an amazed, imperfect person.

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Noun[edit]

imperfect (plural imperfects)

  1. Something having a minor flaw
  2. (grammar) A tense of verbs used in describing a past action that is incomplete or continuous.

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