imperfect


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Related to imperfect: Imperfect competition, imperfect tense

imperfect:

see tensetense
[O.Fr., from Lat.,=time], in the grammar of many languages, a category of time distinctions expressed by any conjugated form of a verb. In Latin inflection the tense of a verb is indicated by a suffix that also indicates the verb's voice, mood, person, and number.
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imperfect

1. Botany
a. (of flowers) lacking functional stamens or pistils
b. (of fungi) not undergoing sexual reproduction
2. Law (of a trust, an obligation, etc.) lacking some necessary formality to make effective or binding; incomplete; legally unenforceable
3. Music
a. (of a cadence) proceeding to the dominant from the tonic, subdominant, or any chord other than the dominant
b. of or relating to all intervals other than the fourth, fifth, and octave
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
You are merely the embodiment of two imperfect things--an imperfect brain and an imperfect body.
I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man.
Imperfect as it was, however, it conveyed an idea, or, at least, gave a hint, of indescribable grace, such as no practised art of external manners could have attained.
At one of these moments of less torpid, yet still imperfect animation, Phoebe became convinced of what she had at first rejected as too extravagant and startling an idea.
Here and there, on the bottom, were to be seen the evidences of a hasty and imperfect culture of such indigenous vegetables as were of a quick growth, and which were known to flourish, without the aid of art, in deep and alluvial soils.
But he has a power to see the possibilities of good in things that are imperfect, and the patience of the true politician who has learned that if he would make men what they ought to be, he must take them as he finds them.
In accordance with the same line of thought, imperfect states, although called perversions, are regarded by Aristotle as the result rather of misconception and ignorance than of perverse will.
When we come to Aristotle's analysis of existing constitutions, we find that while he regards them as imperfect approximations to the ideal, he also thinks of them as the result of the struggle between classes.
The human eye is an imperfect instrument; its range is but a few octaves of the real 'chromatic scale.' I am not mad; there are colors that we cannot see.
This Abstract, which I now publish, must necessarily be imperfect. I cannot here give references and authorities for my several statements; and I must trust to the reader reposing some confidence in my accuracy.
Nor have I been disappointed; in this and in all other perplexing cases I have invariably found that our knowledge, imperfect though it be, of variation under domestication, afforded the best and safest clue.
Aercke (3) suggests that, in their artifice, their complexity and their playful disdain for the real limitations of an imperfect natural world and a flawed social order and human condition, these festive performances constitute a more satisfactory emblem for the essential spirit of the exaggerating and role-playing Baroque age than does Johan Huizinga's suggested periwig.