properly speaking


Also found in: Thesaurus.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.properly speaking - in actual fact; "properly speaking, they are not husband and wife"
References in classic literature ?
Philologists have said that there are but two or three languages, properly speaking, among all the numerous tribes which formerly occupied the country that now composes the United States.
But these two cases were, properly speaking, pathological cases, and the only two in all my sea experience.
All this went on for a long time, or a short time: for properly speaking, there is NO time on earth for such things--.
All this I say, housekeeper, that you may see the difference there is between the one sort of knight and the other; and it would be well if there were no prince who did not set a higher value on this second, or more properly speaking first, kind of knights-errant; for, as we read in their histories, there have been some among them who have been the salvation, not merely of one kingdom, but of many.
THE Columbia, or Oregon, for the distance of thirty or forty miles from its entrance into the sea, is, properly speaking, a mere estuary, indented by deep bays so as to vary from three to seven miles in width; and is rendered extremely intricate and dangerous by shoals reaching nearly from shore to shore, on which, at times, the winds and currents produce foaming and tumultuous breakers.
If, therefore, a democracy is to be reckoned a free state, it is evident that any such establishment which centres all power in the votes of the people cannot, properly speaking, be a democracy: for their decrees cannot be general in their extent.
The Stadtholder has a country-house, one league distant from Leyden, properly speaking a kind of large dairy, and my aunt, who was his nurse, has the management of it.
To be sure, in cold weather you may carry your house aloft with you, in the shape of a watch-coat; but properly speaking the thickest watch-coat is no more of a house than the unclad body; for as the soul is glued inside of its fleshly tabernacle, and cannot freely move about in it, nor even move out of it, without running great risk of perishing (like an ignorant pilgrim crossing the snowy Alps in winter); so a watch-coat is not so much of a house as it is a mere envelope, or additional skin encasing you.
As for conveniences, properly speaking, there weren't any.
The table lands so common in this region have a sandy soil, inconsiderable in depth, and covered with sage, or more properly speaking, wormwood.
Adam, you perceive, was by no means a marvellous man, nor, properly speaking, a genius, yet I will not pretend that his was an ordinary character among workmen; and it would not be at all a safe conclusion that the next best man you may happen to see with a basket of tools over his shoulder and a paper cap on his head has the strong conscience and the strong sense, the blended susceptibility and self-command, of our friend Adam.
For this, properly speaking wonderful, reason I was the only one of the company who could listen without constraint to the unbidden guest with that fine head of white hair, so beautifully kept, so magnificently waved, so artistically arranged that respect could not be felt for it any more than for a very expensive wig in the window of a hair-dresser.