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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 ?
I don't know whether the study of Shakespeare helped her to read character, or the natural instinct of a woman for what was honest, brave, and strong, but while endowing her imaginary heroes with every perfection under the sun, Jo was discovering a live hero, who interested her in spite of many human imperfections.
Do not think or speak of disparity between us, for there is none, except in all my many imperfections.
As I added virtue after virtue to the female monster in my mind, and the result remained still inanimate and unalluring, I realised that the lack I was conscious of was not any new perfection, but just one or two honest human imperfections.
Yet the chief of these reasons may perhaps be refuted by the imperfections of the performance.
The imperfections of his mind run parallel with those of his body, being a composition of spleen, dullness, ignorance, caprice, sensuality, and pride.
Then if there are any imperfections in the constitutions of states (and that many such exist the diversity of constitutions is alone sufficient to assure us), custom has without doubt materially smoothed their inconveniences, and has even managed to steer altogether clear of, or insensibly corrected a number which sagacity could not have provided against with equal effect; and, in fine, the defects are almost always more tolerable than the change necessary for their removal; in the same manner that highways which wind among mountains, by being much frequented, become gradually so smooth and commodious, that it is much better to follow them than to seek a straighter path by climbing over the tops of rocks and descending to the bottoms of precipices.
Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape?
If their works betray imperfections, we wonder at the fewness of them.
Mademoiselle Cormon's ambition took its rise in the most delicate and sensitive feminine feeling; she longed to reward a lover by revealing to him a thousand virtues after marriage, as other women then betray the imperfections they have hitherto concealed.
The people loved and reverenced the King of England even more than if the ocean had not rolled its waves between him and them; for, at the distance of three thousand miles, they could not discover his bad qualities and imperfections.
Delafield had made one or two efforts to renew his addresses to Charlotte, but finding them in every instance firmly, though mildly rejected, he endeavoured to discover such imperfections in the object of his regard as might justify him in disliking her.
The lively countenances of these people are wonderfully indicative of the emotions of the soul, and the imperfections of their oral language are more than compensated for by the nervous eloquence of their looks and gestures.