Definition of pluperfect in English:



  • 1(of a tense) denoting an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, formed in English by had and the past participle, as in he had gone by then; past perfect.

    • ‘The driver replies, ‘I've heard that question a thousand time, but never in the pluperfect subjunctive.’’
    • ‘And the driver says, ‘I've never heard anyone use the pluperfect participle before!’’
    • ‘The extent to which this grammatical form suggests a pluperfect is disputed among Hebrew grammarians.’
    • ‘He's going to start understanding plurals and possessives and abstract notions of time and space, and before you know it he'll be speaking in the pluperfect subjunctive.’
    1. 1.1 More than perfect.
      ‘they have one pluperfect daughter and are expecting an ideal little brother for her’
      • ‘He is a perfect representative of the Democratic Party and a pluperfect speaker for a Democratic fundraiser.’
      • ‘All three casts, most of them making their debuts in the ballet, had their virtues, although none quite caught the pluperfect Danish style once personified by Erik Bruhn himself.’


  • The past perfect tense.


Late 15th century: from modern Latin plusperfectum, from Latin (tempus praeteritum) plus quam perfectum (past tense) more than perfect.