Pitch-perfect and picture-perfect

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Pitch-perfect and picture-perfect are two idioms that are very similar in meaning. We will examine the meaning of the common idioms pitch-perfect and picture-perfect, where they came from, and some examples of their idiomatic usage in sentences.

Pitch-perfect is a hyphenated compound word that describes something that strikes just the right tone, either literally or figuratively. A singer who can find the exactly correct note without prompting may be said to be pitch-perfect; a speaker who says just the right thing at just the right moment may also be said to be pitch-perfect. The expression pitch-perfect refers to the definition of pitch to mean quality of sound. The expression pitch-perfect came into use right at the turn of the 20th century and the rate of common usage has remained steady.

Picture-perfect is a hyphenated compound word that describes something that is flawless or ideal. Something that is picture-perfect cannot be improved upon. The idiom picture-perfect also came into use right at the turn of the 20th century, though the rate of its common usage has soared since the mid-20th century. Note that both pitch-perfect and picture-perfect are adjectives that are properly rendered with a hyphen.


In tone, it was pitch-perfect for intimating to his dissatisfied fellow countrymen that they should not be self-satisfied. (Washington Post)

It was pitch-perfect, and it was very much in tune with the symbolism and metaphors that are everywhere you look in baseball, whose restart is — viewed without cynicism, inasmuch as that’s possible in 2020 — a grand embodiment of “the show must go on.” (Chicago Sun Times)

Fullback Donny Toia tossed a throw-in deep into the box where Damir Kreilach used his head to direct the ball to the chest of Rubin, who executed a picture-perfect bicycle kick in front of goal that gave RSL the 1-0 lead. (Deseret News)

This Atlanta company can help you throw a picture-perfect picnic (Atlanta Magazine)