Proper meaning

prŏpər
Strictly following rules or conventions, especially in social behavior; seemly.

A proper lady; a proper gentleman.

adjective
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The definition of proper is appropriate or obeying manners and standards.

An example of proper used as an adjective is a proper gesture, such as putting ones napkin in your lap before eating.

adjective
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Called for by rules or conventions; correct.

The proper form for a business letter.

adjective
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Being within the strictly limited sense, as of a term designating something.

The town proper, excluding the suburbs.

adjective
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For use in the liturgy of a particular feast or season of the year.
adjective
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Of or relating to a subset of a given set when the set has at least one element not in the subset.
adjective
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Worthy of the name; true.

Wanted a proper dinner, not just a snack.

adjective
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Out-and-out; thorough.

A proper whipping.

adjective
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Thoroughly.

Beat the eggs good and proper.

adverb
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The portion of the liturgy that varies according to the particular feast or season of the year.
noun
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Specially adapted or suitable to a specific purpose or specific conditions; appropriate.

The proper tool for a job.

adjective
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Naturally belonging or peculiar (to)

Weather proper to April.

adjective
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Conforming to an accepted standard or to good usage; correct.

A proper spelling.

adjective
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Fitting; seemly; right.

Proper modesty.

adjective
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Decent; decorous; genteel.

“the proper Bostonians”

adjective
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Understood in its most restricted sense; strictly so called.

The population of Chicago proper (i.e., apart from its suburbs)

adjective
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Complete; thorough.

A proper scoundrel.

adjective
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Reserved for a particular day or festival.
adjective
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Represented in its natural form or colors.
adjective
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Completely; thoroughly.
adverb
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Properly; correctly.
adverb
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The special office or prayers for a particular day or festival.
noun
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Those parts of the Mass which vary according to the particular day or festival.
noun
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See Necessary and Proper Clause.
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Suitable.
adjective
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Possessed, related.
  • (grammar) Used to designate a particular person, place, or thing. Proper words are usually written with an initial capital letter. [from 14th c.].
  • Pertaining exclusively to a specific thing or person; particular. [from 14th c.].
  • (archaic) Belonging to oneself or itself; own. [from 14th c.].
  • (heraldry) Portrayed in natural or usual coloration, as opposed to conventional tinctures. [from 16th c.].
  • (mathematics, physics) Eigen-; designating a function or value which is an eigenfunction or eigenvalue. [from 20th c.].
adjective
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Accurate, strictly applied.
  • Excellent, of high quality; such as the specific person or thing should ideally be. (Now often merged with later senses.) [from 14th c.].
    Now that was a proper breakfast.
  • (now regional) Attractive, elegant. [from 14th c.].
  • In the very strictest sense of the word (now often as postmodifier). [from 14th c.].
  • (now colloquial) Utter, complete. [from 15th c.].
    When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a proper fool.
adjective
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(Scotland) Properly; thoroughly; completely.
adverb
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(nonstandard, slang) Properly.
adverb
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Proper is defined as thoroughly and completely.

An example of something done proper is a science project finished correctly and all the way through, completed good and proper.

adverb
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Characterized by appropriateness or suitability; fitting.

The proper knife for cutting bread; not a proper moment for a joke.

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Origin of proper

  • Middle English propre from Old French from Latin proprius per1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Anglo-Norman proper, propre, Old French propre (French: propre), and their source, Latin proprius.

    From Wiktionary