imperfection


imperfection
imperfection, deficiency, shortcoming, fault mean a failure in persons or in things to reach a standard of excellence or perfection.
Imperfection is the most general of these words ; it usually does not imply a great departure from perfection and is usually replaceable by a more specific term (as flaw, blemish, defect, failing, frailty, or foible) which emphasizes its slightness rather than its enormity
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the statue has one imperfection

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the early Christians followed the Stoics: property was a result of man's imperfection. It should be accepted regretfully, and society should take care that too much did not collect in too few hands— Agar

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coffee is graded by the number of imperfections in the sample— Ukers

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Deficiency carries a clear implication of lack or of inadequacy, whether moral or mental, physical or spiritual; it applies particularly to persons, but it may refer also to an inadequacy in things which affects the persons involved. Unlike imperfection, it often implies a great departure from a standard of perfection or sufficiency
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Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society— Austen

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the disastrous want and weakness of Shelley . . .—his utter deficiency in humor— Arnold

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another food deficiency was responsible for one of the most debilitating and crippling diseases of the Orient— Heiser

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Shortcoming implies deficiency but is seldom used in quite the same sense. Often it implies a standard of perfection or of excellence which is hard to reach and then suggests not so much the degree of imperfection or deficiency as (the doer's) sense of failure to reach the standard or (the critic's or judge's) unwillingness to use a harsher or more direct term
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the shortcomings of representative government

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my book has many shortcomings, I fear

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do not let them, as poor people, make everyone else suffer for their shortcomingsShaw

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let him only preach well, and all his shortcomings as a curate would be forgiven— Mackenzie

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management shortcomings in one form or another cause most business failures— Nation's Business

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Fault (see also FAULT) is more direct and clear-cut in statement than any of the others; it usually implies personal culpability for the failing in a person or direct blameworthiness for the shortcoming or defect in a thing; often, also, it permits description of the failing or defect
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he has ... the fault of defective mantelpiece clocks, of suddenly stopping in the very fullness of the tick— Conrad

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Sophia observed a fault in the daily conduct of the house— Bennett

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Analogous words: *failure, neglect, dereliction: *fault, failing, frailty, foible: *blemish, flaw, defect: weakness, infirmity (see corresponding adjectives at WEAK)
Antonyms: perfection

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • imperfection — [ ɛ̃pɛrfɛksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1120; bas lat. imperfectio 1 ♦ État de ce qui est inachevé. 2 ♦ État de ce qui est imparfait, par essence ou par accident. Imperfection de l homme. 3 ♦ Une imperfection : ce qui rend imparfait. ⇒ défaut. « la douleur de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • imperfection — im‧per‧fec‧tion [ˌɪmpəˈfekʆn ǁ pər ] noun [countable] something that is not completely correct or perfect in a system, product etc; = FLAW: • The CD had several small imperfections. * * * imperfection UK US /ˌɪmpəˈfekʃən/ noun [C] ► PRODUCTION a …   Financial and business terms

  • imperfection — Imperfection. s. f. Defaut, manquement. Imperfection de corps. imperfection d esprit. tous les hommes sont pleins d imperfections. On appelle, En termes de Libraire, Imperfections, Toutes les feuilles qui manquent ou qui sont de trop dans un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Imperfection — Im per*fec tion, n. [L. imperfectio: cf. F. imperfection. See {Imperfect}, a.] The quality or condition of being imperfect; lack of perfection; incompleteness; deficiency; fault or blemish. [1913 Webster] Sent to my account With all my… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imperfection — [im΄pər fek′shən] n. [ME imperfeccioun < OFr imperfection < LL imperfectio] 1. the quality or condition of being imperfect 2. a shortcoming; defect; fault; blemish SYN. DEFECT …   English World dictionary

  • imperfection — index defect, deficiency, disadvantage, fault (weakness), flaw, foible, frailty, handicap …   Law dictionary

  • imperfection — (n.) late 14c., from O.Fr. imperfeccion (12c.) and directly from L.L. imperfectionem (nom. imperfectio), from imperfectus (see IMPERFECT (Cf. imperfect)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • imperfection — [n] flaw blemish, bug*, catch, defect, deficiency, deformity, demerit, disfigurement, failing, fallibility, fault, foible, frailty, glitch*, gremlin*, inadequacy, incompleteness, infirmity, insufficiency, peccadillo, problem, shortcoming, sin,… …   New thesaurus

  • imperfection — Imperfection, et corruption, Vitium …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • imperfection — (in pèr fè ksion ; en vers, de cinq syllabes) s. f. 1°   État de ce qui n est point achevé, parfait. L état d imperfection dans lequel cet ouvrage est resté. •   Il est évident qu il n y a pas moins de répugnance que la fausseté ou l imperfection …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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