1. Not perfect; not complete in all its parts; wanting a part; deective; deficient.
Something he left imperfect in the state. --Shak.
Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect. --Shak.
2. Wanting in some elementary organ that is essential to successful or normal activity.
He . . . stammered like a child, or an amazed, imperfect person. --Jer. Taylor.
3. Not fulfilling its design; not realizing an ideal; not conformed to a standard or rule; not satisfying the taste or conscience; esthetically or morally defective.
Nothing imperfect or deficient left
Of all that he created. --Milton.
Then say not man's imperfect, Heaven in fault;
Say rather, man's as perfect as he ought. --Pope.
Imperfect arch, an arch of less than a semicircle; a skew arch.
Imperfect cadence Mus., one not ending with the tonic, but with the dominant or some other chord; one not giving complete rest; a half close.
Imperfect consonances Mus., chords like the third and sixth, whose ratios are less simple than those of the fifth and forth.
Imperfect flower Bot., a flower wanting either stamens or pistils. --Gray.
Imperfect interval Mus., one a semitone less than perfect; as, an imperfect fifth.
Imperfect number Math., a number either greater or less than the sum of its several divisors; in the former case, it is called also a defective number; in the latter, an abundant number.
Imperfect obligations Law, obligations as of charity or gratitude, which cannot be enforced by law.
Imperfect power Math., a number which can not be produced by taking any whole number or vulgar fraction, as a factor, the number of times indicated by the power; thus, 9 is a perfect square, but an imperfect cube.
Imperfect tense Gram., a tense expressing past time and incomplete action.
Im·per·fect n. Gram. The imperfect tense; or the form of a verb denoting the imperfect tense.
Im·per·fect, v. t. To make imperfect. [Obs.]
adj 1: not perfect; defective or inadequate; "had only an imperfect
understanding of his responsibilities"; "imperfect
mortals"; "drainage here is imperfect" [ant: perfect]
2: having the attributes of man as opposed to e.g. divine
beings; "I'm only human"; "frail humanity" [syn: fallible,
n : a tense of verbs used in describing action that is on-going
[syn: progressive, progressive tense, imperfect
tense, continuous tense]