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Related to perfect: perfect tense


Extremely accurate; very well placed or perfectly judged. (Used especially of maneuvers, moves, or shots in sport.) Primarily heard in UK. With only a few seconds left, the striker managed an inch-perfect goal from midfield.

let (the) perfect be the enemy of (the) good

To allow the demand, desire, or insistence for perfection decrease the chances of obtaining a good or favorable result in the end. (Usually used in the negative as an imperative.) I know you want your research paper to be great, but don't let perfect be the enemy of good, or you won't even finish it in time! As a manager, you have to realize both the potential and the limits of your employees, so be sure not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
See also: enemy, good, let, of, perfect

perfect storm

A chance or rare combination of individual elements, circumstances, or events that together form a disastrous, catastrophic, or extremely unpleasant problem or difficulty. The incumbent mayor's re-election campaign is getting underway amidst a perfect storm of allegations and news stories about corruption, tax evasion, and racketeering within the city's government. The oil crisis has set off a perfect storm in the Middle East, where foreign leaders have depended on its economic stability to keep their warring countries from absolute chaos and anarchy.
See also: perfect, storm


Reaching or conveying the exactly right note or tone. The phrase refers to music but it is often applied to writing and other things. After her pitch-perfect rendition, I definitely think we should ask Meredith to join the choir. This is a pitch-perfect parody of Hemingway's writing style, don't you think?


A more emphatic way of saying "perfect." We're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, so the house has to look picture-perfect.

picture perfect

Exactly as desired in every detail. (Hyphenated if used before a noun.) My goodness, what a party. Everything as picture perfect. She's obsessed with having a picture-perfect wedding.
See also: perfect, picture

practice makes perfect

Only by practicing or repeatedly doing something can one become proficient or skillful at it. A: "I just can't seem to get the rhythm of this song quire right." B: "Keep at it—practice makes perfect!" You can't expect to start a new sport and be amazing at it right away. As is always the case, practice makes perfect.
See also: make, perfect, practice

perfect stranger

 and total stranger
Fig. a person who is completely unknown [to oneself]. I was stopped on the street by a perfect stranger who wanted to know my name. If a total stranger asked me such a personal question, I am sure I would not answer!
See also: perfect, stranger

picture perfect

Fig. looking exactly correct or right. (Hyphenated as a modifier.) At last, everything was picture perfect. Nothing less than a picture-perfect party table will do.
See also: perfect, picture

Practice makes perfect.

Prov. Cliché Doing something over and over again is the only way to learn to do it well. Jill: I'm not going to try to play the piano anymore. I always make so many mistakes. Jane: Don't give up. Practice makes perfect. Child: How come you're so good at peeling potatoes? Father: I did it a lot in the army, and practice makes perfect.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practice makes perfect

Frequently doing something makes one better at doing it, as in I've knit at least a hundred sweaters, but in my case practice hasn't made perfect. This proverbial expression was once put as Use makes mastery, but by 1560 the present form had become established.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practice makes perfect

COMMON People say practice makes perfect to mean that if you practise something enough, you will eventually be able to do it perfectly. It is like learning to ride a bike. You may fall off a few times but practice makes perfect.
See also: make, perfect, practice

practice makes perfect

regular exercise of an activity or skill is the way to become proficient in it.
See also: make, perfect, practice

ˌpractice makes ˈperfect

(saying) a way of encouraging people by telling them that if you do an activity regularly you will become very good at it: If you want to learn a language, speak it as much as you can. Practice makes perfect!
See also: make, perfect, practice

in an ˌideal/a ˌperfect ˈworld

used to say that something is what you would like to happen or what should happen, but you know it cannot: In an ideal world we would be recycling and reusing everything.
See also: perfect, world
References in periodicals archive ?
The eight-horse field, set Wednesday, includes Lava Man, an 8-5 favorite to become the first to sweep the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic; Giacomo, 3-1 to record his first major victory since the 2005 Kentucky Derby; and Perfect Drift, 6-1 to improve on his frequent near-misses in big races.
And don't forget the handy serving suggestions for Perfect Portions at pillsbury.
The Perfect Medium" is full of neologisms, the most wonderful of which is the "skotograph," a spirit photograph taken without a camera or light but by pressing a phorographic plate against the face.
Perfect Commerce says its solutions can reduce overall purchasing costs by more than 15 percent, cut transaction costs 75 percent and significantly enhance buyer-supplier relationships.
The new offering, Perfect Commerce OSN Connect for PeopleSoft, will enable PeopleSoft SRM customers to:
Try Sally Hansen Beyond Perfect Protein Nail Colors in Hibiscus Harmony, Mandarin Mantra and Raspberry Energy ($5 each, drugstores).
But let us not forget that in the grand design of a Perfect God we all are good enough and no one is perfect.
EBay's unofficial motto could well be "eBay: Eliminating the middleman since 1995," for that has been the crux of Omidyar's perfect market--bringing together individual buyers and sellers on a level playing field where the market perfectly determines an item's price at the intersection of supply and demand.
The Perfect Son provides, instead, a low-key tale of sibling rivalry with subtle, quiet performances.
To the Editor: Robert Lear contributes a most illuminating prescription for the newly selected CEO of a multi-billion dollar enterprise seeking to form the perfect board, "Devising the Perfect Board," (CE: November 2000).
Hypnotized by the fine grains flowing through her fingers, over and over, she transports herself into her vision of a Perfect World.
Never getting it quite right, everything elusive -- that perfect performance, the perfect turnout, the perfect partner, the perfect relationship, the perfect weight, the perfect profile, the perfect solution.
Jody Vitale, who is expected to become president of major bedding supplier Perfect Fit Industries following its scheduled safe next month, said he wants to make the company "a dominant player in the home furnishing industry.
People who possess perfect pitch -- the ability to sing or name any musical tone without hearing a reference tone -- may have a brain as well as an ear for music.