Definition of imperfect noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ɪmˈpɜːfɪkt//
; NAmE NAmE//ɪmˈpɜːrfɪkt//
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the imperfect (also the imperfect tense) [singular] (grammar) the verb tense that expresses action in the past that is not complete. It is often called the past progressive or past continuous. In ‘while I was washing my hair’, the verb is in the imperfect. See related entries: Grammar Word OriginMiddle English imparfit, imperfet, from Old French imparfait, from Latin imperfectus, from in- ‘not’ + perfectus ‘completed’, from the verb perficere, from per- ‘through, completely’ + facere ‘do’. The spelling change in the 16th cent. was due to association with the Latin form.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: imperfect

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