adj., n. /perr"fikt/; v. /peuhr fekt"/, adj.1. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type: a perfect sphere; a perfect gentleman.2. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement: There is no perfect legal code. The proportions of this temple are almost perfect.3. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose: a perfect actor to play Mr. Micawber; a perfect saw for cutting out keyholes.4. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings: a perfect apple; the perfect crime.5. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail: a perfect copy.6. thorough; complete; utter: perfect strangers.7. pure or unmixed: perfect yellow.8. unqualified; absolute: He has perfect control over his followers.9. expert; accomplished; proficient.10. unmitigated; out-and-out; of an extreme degree: He made a perfect fool of himself.11. Bot.a. having all parts or members present.b. monoclinous.12. Gram.a. noting an action or state brought to a close prior to some temporal point of reference, in contrast to imperfect or incomplete action.b. designating a tense or other verb formation or construction with such meaning.13. Music.a. applied to the consonances of unison, octave, and fifth, as distinguished from those of the third and sixth, which are called imperfect.b. applied to the intervals, harmonic or melodic, of an octave, fifth, and fourth in their normal form, as opposed to augmented and diminished.14. Math. (of a set) equal to its set of accumulation points.15. Obs. assured or certain.n. Gram.16. the perfect tense.17. a verb form or construction in the perfect tense. Cf. future perfect, pluperfect, present perfect.v.t.18. to bring to completion; finish.19. to bring to perfection; make flawless or faultless.20. to bring nearer to perfection; improve.21. to make fully skilled.22. Print. to print the reverse of (a printed sheet).[1250-1300; < L perfectus, ptp. of perficere to finish, bring to completion (per- PER- + -fec-, comb. form of facere to DO1 + -tus ptp. suffix); r. ME parfit < OF < L as above]Usage. A few usage guides still object to the use of comparison words such as more, most, nearly, almost, and rather with PERFECT on the grounds that PERFECT describes an absolute, yes-or-no condition that cannot logically be said to exist in varying degrees. The English language has never agreed to this limitation.Since its earliest use in the 13th century, PERFECT has, like almost all adjectives, been compared, first in the now obsolete forms PERFECTER and PERFECTEST, and more recently with more, most, and similar comparison words: the most perfect arrangement of color and line imaginable. PERFECT is compared in most of its general senses in all varieties of speech and writing. After all, one of the objectives of the writers of the U.S. Constitution was "to form a more perfect union." See also complete, unique.
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