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1. The quality or condition of being imperfect.
2. Something imperfect; a defect or flaw. See Synonyms at blemish.


1. the condition or quality of being imperfect
2. a fault or defect


(ˌɪm pərˈfɛk ʃən)

1. fault; flaw.
2. the quality or state of being imperfect.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin]



crack’d in the ring Flawed or imperfect at the perimeter or edge; of little value or use; (of women) nonvirginal. This expression, popular during Elizabethan times, is no longer used today. It was limited in application to money, artillery, and (figuratively) to women.

diamond in the rough One whose unrefined external appearance or ungraceful behavior belies a good or gentle character and untapped potential. This expression derives from the disparity between a diamond in its natural state, before being cut and polished, and in its refined state, when it has become an impressive gem. Analogously, graceful manners and social amenities can be learned. Diamond in the rough dates from the early 17th century.

feet of clay An unforeseen blemish in the character of a person hitherto held above reproach.

The woman … finds that her golden-headed god has got an iron body and feet of clay. (Anthony Trollope, Fortnightly Review, 1865)

This expression originated with Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the Old Testament (Daniel 2:31-45). The Babylonian king had dreamed of an image completely made of precious metals, except for its feet, which were made of clay and iron. Daniel explained that the feet represented man’s vulnerability to weakness and destruction.

Homer sometimes nods An erudite way of saying, “Nobody’s perfect.” The expression is often used to indicate that an artistic performance or endeavor has fallen below expectations or has not been of consistently high quality. The phrase’s origin lies in lines from Horace’s De Arte Poética usually translated as: “I think it shame when the worthy Homer nods; but in so long a work it is allowable if drowsiness comes on.”

mote in the eye A fault or imperfection observed in a person by one who is guilty of something equally or more objectionable. This phrase comes from Matthew 7:3:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Mote refers to a small particle, as a bit of sawdust; beam refers to a glance, or eyebeam, formerly thought to be emitted from, rather than received by the eye. Shakespeare makes use of the allusion in Love’s Labor’s Lost:

You found his mote, the King your mote did see,
But I a beam do find in each of three. (IV, iii)

An analogous proverbial exhortation is “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”

a rift in the lute A flaw or imperfection, particularly one that endangers the integrity of the whole; the one rotten apple that spoils the whole barrel. The expression, more familiar to British than American ears, comes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1885):

It is the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

rough edges Characteristics or manners indicating a lack of polish, refinement, or completion. Use of rough meaning ‘lacking in culture or refinement’ dates from at least the time of Shakespeare. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when edges, probably originally referring to the edges of sawed lumber which have not been trimmed or sized, was added to make the new phrase. In current use, corners is a common variant of edges.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.imperfection - the state or an instance of being imperfect
state - the way something is with respect to its main attributes; "the current state of knowledge"; "his state of health"; "in a weak financial state"
failing, weakness - a flaw or weak point; "he was quick to point out his wife's failings"
flaw - an imperfection in a plan or theory or legal document that causes it to fail or that reduces its effectiveness
defect - an imperfection in a bodily system; "visual defects"; "this device permits detection of defects in the lungs"
flaw, fault, defect - an imperfection in an object or machine; "a flaw caused the crystal to shatter"; "if there are any defects you should send it back to the manufacturer"
wart - an imperfection in someone or something that is suggestive of a wart (especially in smallness or unattractiveness)
defectiveness, faultiness - the state of being defective
flawlessness, ne plus ultra, perfection - the state of being without a flaw or defect


1. blemish, fault, defect, flaw, stain Scanners locate imperfections in the cloth.
2. fault, failing, weakness, defect, deficiency, flaw, shortcoming, inadequacy, frailty, foible, weak point He concedes that there are imperfections in the socialist system.
3. incompleteness, deficiency, inadequacy, frailty, insufficiency It is its imperfection that gives it its beauty.
incompleteness perfection, sufficiency, adequacy, consummation, completeness, faultlessness, flawlessness


Something that mars the appearance or causes inadequacy or failure:
نَقْص، عَيْب، شائِبَه


[ˌɪmpəˈfekʃən] N
1. (= state of being imperfect) → imperfección f
2. (= fault) → defecto m


[ˌɪmpərˈfɛkʃən] n
(= fault) [person] → imperfection f; [thing, system] → imperfection f
(= minor flaw) → imperfection f


no pl (= faultiness)Unvollkommenheit f, → Mangelhaftigkeit f; (= incompleteness)Unvollständigkeit f
(= fault, defect)Mangel m


[ˌɪmpəˈfɛkʃn] n (poor quality) → imperfezione f; (flaw) → difetto, imperfezione


(imˈpəːfikt) adjective
1. having a fault. This coat is being sold at half-price because it is imperfect.
2. (also noun) (a verb) of the tense expressing an action or state in the past which is not completed. The verb `go' in `I was going' is in the imperfect tense.
imˈperfectly adverb
ˌimperˈfection (-ˈfekʃən) noun
(the state of having) a fault or defect.


n. imperfección, deformidad, defecto.
References in classic literature ?
They dwelled upon her matchless beauty, and on her noble resolution, without the taint of envy, and as angels may be thought to delight in a superior excellence; adding, that these endowments should prove more than equivalent for any little imperfection in her education.
It was as if some transcendent musician should draw a soul-thrilling sweetness out of a cracked instrument, which makes its physical imperfection heard in the midst of ethereal harmony,--so deep was the sensibility that found an organ in Hepzibah's voice!
and Miss Bates loved to be called on, and she knew she was considered by the very few who presumed ever to see imperfection in her, as rather negligent in that respect, and as not contributing what she ought to the stock of their scanty comforts.
When you tell me to love him as a brother, I shall no more see imperfection in his face, than I now do in his heart.
For, if you reflect a moment, you will see that, while it is easy to choose what virtues we would have our wife possess, it is all but impossible to imagine those faults we would desire in her, which I think most lovers would admit add piquancy to the loved one, that fascinating wayward imperfection which paradoxically makes her perfect.
No need that thou Shouldst propagat, already infinite; And through all numbers absolute, though One; But Man by number is to manifest His single imperfection, and beget Like of his like, his Image multipli'd, In unitie defective, which requires Collateral love, and deerest amitie.
It is your peculiar privilege to commemorate, in this birthday of your nation, an event ascertained in its minutest details; an event of which the principal actors are known to you familiarly, as if belonging to your own age; an event of a magnitude before which imagination shrinks at the imperfection of her powers.
Stronger grew the wonder of Dantes, who almost fancied he had to do with one gifted with supernatural powers; still hoping to find some imperfection which might bring him down to a level with human beings, he added, "Then if you were not furnished with pens, how did you manage to write the work you speak of?
The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.
The room was spacious, and of very just proportions; but in its ornaments and furniture the same diversity of taste and imperfection of execution were to be observed as existed in the hall.
No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection.
There lay the sole imperfection of this triple life.