Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “imperfect”

See all translations

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.

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.
More examples
imperfectly
adverb uk   /-li/ us  

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.
(Definition of imperfect from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of imperfect?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “imperfect” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

christmassy

typical of Christmas, or happy because it is Christmas

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More