early 15c. classical correction of Middle English parfit "flawless, ideal" (c. 1300), also "complete, full, finished, lacking in no way" (late 14c.), from Old French parfit "finished, completed, ready" (11c.), from Latin perfectus "completed, excellent, accomplished, exquisite," past participle of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete," from per "completely" (see per) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").
Often used in English as an intensive (perfect stranger, etc.), from the notion of "complete." Grammatical sense, in reference to verb tense describing an action as completed, is from c. 1500. As a noun, late 14c. ("perfection"), from the adjective.
The difference between the Preterit and the Perfect is in English observed more strictly than in the other languages possessing corresponding tenses. The Preterit refers to some time in the past without telling anything about the connexion with the present moment, while the Perfect is a retrospective present, which connects a past occurrence with the present time, either as continued up to the present moment (inclusive time) or as having results or consequences bearing on the present moment. [Otto Jespersen, "Essentials of English Grammar," 1933]
"to bring to full development, finish or complete so as to leave nothing wanting," late 14c., parfiten, from perfect (adj.). Related: Perfected; perfecting.
"tending or conducing to perfection," 1590s, from Medieval Latin perfectivus, from Latin perfect-, past-participle stem of perficere "accomplish, finish, complete" (see perfect (adj.)). Grammatical use is from 1844.
early 13c., perfeccioun, "consummate state or form, that degree of excellence which leaves nothing to be desired," from Old French perfection "perfection, completeness" (12c.), from Latin perfectionem (nominative perfectio) "a finishing, completing, perfection," noun of action from past-participle stem of perficere "to accomplish, finish, complete" (see perfect (adj.)).
From late 14c. as "flawlessness, correctness, purity," also "act of making perfect," also "state of being complete." The meaning "quality, endowment, or acquirement characterized by excellence or great worth or value" is from 1570s.