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

illusion

an idea or belief that is not true

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More