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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
prop•er /ˈprɑpɚ/USA pronunciation
adj. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
prop•er•ly, adv. See -propr-.
- most suitable;
correct[before a noun]Is this the proper time to plant strawberries?
- agreeing with established or accepted standards:proper behavior.[It + be + ~ + to + verb]It's not proper to come so late to parties.
- in the strict sense[after a noun]Shellfish do not belong to the class of fishes proper.
- British Terms[Chiefly Brit.]utter; genuine[before a noun]a proper fool.
- adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances;
suitable:the proper time to plant strawberries.
- conforming to established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous:a very proper young man.
right:It was only proper to bring a gift.
- strictly belonging or applicable:the proper place for a stove.
- belonging or pertaining exclusively or distinctly to a person, thing, or group.
- strict; accurate.
- in the strict sense of the word (usually used postpositively):Shellfish do not belong to the fishes proper. Is the school within Boston proper or in the suburbs?
- (of a name, noun, or adjective) designating a particular person or thing and written in English with an initial capital letter, as Joan, Chicago, Monday, American.
normal or regular.
belonging to oneself or itself; own.
British Terms[Chiefly Brit. Informal.]complete or thorough:a proper thrashing.
Religion[Eccles.]used only on a particular day or festival:the proper introit.
Heraldry[Heraldry.](of a device) depicted in its natural colors:an oak tree proper.
- having the force or function of a proper name:a proper adjective.
Mathematics[Math.](of a subset of a set) not equal to the whole set.
[Archaic.]of good character;
- good-looking or handsome.
- Informal Terms[Informal.]thoroughly;
- Religion[Eccles.]a special office or special parts of an office appointed for a particular day or time.
1 . suited. 2, 3 . meet, befitting, becoming, decent, polite. 5 . special, individual, peculiar. 6 . precise, exact, just, formal.
- Latin proprius one's own
- Old French
- Middle English propre 1250–1300
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
proper /ˈprɒpə/ adj
- (usually prenominal) appropriate or suited for some purpose: in its proper place
- correct in behaviour or conduct
- excessively correct in conduct; vigorously moral
- up to a required or regular standard
- (immediately postpositive) (of an object, quality, etc) referred to or named specifically so as to exclude anything not directly connected with it: his claim is connected with the deed proper
- (postpositive) followed by to: belonging to or characteristic of a person or thing
- (prenominal) Brit informal (intensifier): I felt a proper fool
- (usually postpositive) (of heraldic colours) considered correct for the natural colour of the object or emblem depicted: three martlets proper
- archaic pleasant or good
- good and proper ⇒ informal thoroughly
Etymology: 13th Century: via Old French from Latin prōprius specialˈproperly adv ˈproperness n
- the parts of the Mass that vary according to the particular day or feast on which the Mass is celebrated
'properly' also found in these entries: