Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “imperfect”

imperfect

adjective uk   /ɪmˈpɜː.fekt/ us    /-ˈpɝː-/

imperfect adjective (NOT PERFECT)

C1 damaged, containing problems or not having something: We're living in an imperfect world. I explained as well as I was able, given my own imperfect understanding of the situation.Faults and mistakesIncomplete

imperfect adjective (GRAMMAR)

specialized language the imperfect form of a verb describes an action in the past that was continuous or was not completed: In the sentence 'He was hit by a car as he was crossing the road', the verb 'cross' is in the imperfect form.Grammatical termsVerb forms, tenses and types of verbs
imperfectly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
Faults and mistakesIncomplete

imperfect

noun [S] uk   /ɪmˈpɜː.fekt/ us    /-ˈpɝː-/
the imperfect specialized in some languages, the form of a verb that is used for an action that has not been completed in the past, used, for example, to refer to an action that was happening when it was suddenly interrupted, or to describe an existing situation at the beginning of a story: In the sentence 'He was hit by a car as he was crossing the road', the verb 'cross' is in the imperfect.Verb forms, tenses and types of verbsGrammatical terms
(Definition of imperfect from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of imperfect?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Incomplete, but you might be interested in these topics from the Full and empty topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “imperfect” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

tankard

a large usually drinking cup, usually made of metal, with sloping sides, a handle, and sometimes a lid, mainly used for drinking beer

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More