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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?

picture perfect

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

practice makes perfect

Practicing or repeatedly doing something will make 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

in a perfect world

If things existed or happened exactly as one would like. Well, in a perfect world I'd be able to take time off for paternity leave without having it affect my pay, but at least I get to take the time off at all! Well, we'd be able to provide healthcare services to every citizen without charge in a perfect world, but unfortunately that's never going to happen.
See also: perfect, world

in an ideal world

If things existed or happened exactly as one would like. Well, in an ideal world I'd be able to take time off for paternity leave without having it affect my pay, but at least I get to take the time off at all! Well, we'd be able to provide healthcare services to every citizen without charge in an ideal world, but unfortunately that's never going to happen.
See also: ideal, world

match for

1. Someone who is well suited to someone else, especially as a romantic partner. We're actually a perfect match for one another, despite our differences in personality—maybe even because of those differences. I think he would be a good match for you—just go on one date and see how you get on!
2. Someone who able to stand up to or compete against someone else with equal strength or skill. Often used in negative constructions. They've had an impressive run this season, but the young team is just no match for the returning champions. No one put much faith in the young defense attorney, but he has proven a match for the state prosecutor.
See also: match

perfect stranger

Someone with whom one has absolutely no previous association. My mom and dad didn't come to see our son until he was nearly three years old, so, to him, they were perfect strangers! She thought it was terribly funny to go up to perfect strangers and begin conversations with them as if they had been lifelong friends.
See also: perfect, stranger

match for (someone, something, or an animal)

someone, something, or an animal that is the equal of someone, something, or some other animal, especially in a contest. My older brother is no match for me; he's much weaker. Your horse is no match for mine in a race. Mine will always win.
See also: match

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: ideal, perfect, world
References in periodicals archive ?
Greater Control and Efficiency: -- Variable Dynamics -- Variable dynamics is a key feature of Process Perfecter 7 and allows a controller to operate over a greater operating range than ever before and with greater consistency in set-point transition.
Process Perfecter combines steady-state optimization with model predictive control to deliver an advanced process control solution capable of managing process setpoints and transitions.
Process Perfecter -- provides more reliable operation through patented steady-state optimization and model-predictive control of complex and non-linear processes -- Property Predictor -- creates Virtual Online Analyzers(R) that deliver real-time projections of process and product conditions, enabling tighter process control -- ClockWorx -- simplifies and codifies complex operations like reactor start-up, shut-down and donor or catalyst changes within transition processes, delivering more consistent operation -- Configuration Manager -- streamlines the controller update process for specification limits, blend limits and operating constraints throughout the production process.
Process Perfecter was the first nonlinear control and optimization solution in the marketplace and is in use by more polymer lines than any other commercial APC solution.
Pavilion's Process Perfecter provides an alternative that enables them to battle high energy prices, while having a positive impact on production simultaneously.
In May 2003, ATOFINA deployed Pavilion's Process Perfecter at its HDPE production facility in Gonfreville, France.
Pavilion's flagship APC and optimization software solution, Process Perfecter, optimizes the production of billions of pounds of polymer annually, creating hundreds of millions of dollars in value for its customers.
Process Perfecter allows styrene producers to control and optimize plant operations relative to production, quality and economic objectives.
This is the second installation of Pavilion's Process Perfecter solution at an ATOFINA facility.
This project marks the most sophisticated control project in the cement industry, using Process Perfecter software to automate and optimize grade changes and to predict fineness in real-time.
Pavilion's Process Perfecter non-linear control and optimization software will improve the profitability of the production of 120,000 metric tons of LLDPE per year at the Dunkerque facility.
Process Perfecter is a registered trademark of Pavilion Technologies Inc.
Since its release in 1996 Process Perfecter has controlled the minute-to-minute production of billions of dollars in product.
REO and Process Perfecter are registered trademarks of Pavilion Technologies Inc.
Primers, foundation, concealers and light reflecting perfecters all need to be applied before you even think about putting on some lipstick.