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

baby

a very young child, especially one that has not yet begun to walk or talk

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More