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1. Characterized by appropriateness or suitability; fitting: the proper knife for cutting bread; not a proper moment for a joke.
2. Called for by rules or conventions; correct: the proper form for a business letter.
3. Strictly following rules or conventions, especially in social behavior; seemly: a proper lady; a proper gentleman.
a. Belonging to one; own: restored to his proper shape by the magician.
b. Characteristically belonging to the being or thing in question; peculiar: an optical effect proper to fluids.
5. Being within the strictly limited sense, as of a term designating something: the town proper, excluding the suburbs.
6. Ecclesiastical For use in the liturgy of a particular feast or season of the year.
7. Mathematics Of or relating to a subset of a given set when the set has at least one element not in the subset.
8. Worthy of the name; true: wanted a proper dinner, not just a snack.
9. Out-and-out; thorough: a proper whipping.
Thoroughly: beat the eggs good and proper.
n. also Proper Ecclesiastical
The portion of the liturgy that varies according to the particular feast or season of the year.

[Middle English propre, from Old French, from Latin proprius; see per in Indo-European roots.]

prop′er·ly adv.
prop′er·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.properness - correct or appropriate behavior
demeanor, demeanour, deportment, behaviour, conduct, behavior - (behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people
decorousness, decorum - propriety in manners and conduct
appropriateness, rightness - appropriate conduct; doing the right thing
correctness - the quality of conformity to social expectations
good form - behavior that conforms to social conventions of the time; "it is not good form to brag about winning"
priggishness, primness - exaggerated and arrogant properness
reserve, modesty - formality and propriety of manner
seemliness, grace - a sense of propriety and consideration for others; "a place where the company of others must be accepted with good grace"
decency - the quality of conforming to standards of propriety and morality
improperness, impropriety - an improper demeanor
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Conformity to recognized standards, as of conduct or appearance:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The step (A) concerns the criterion for properness of the action in the setting that G is a linear reductive Lie group and H, L are reductive subgroups of G.
The page has long since moved away from focusing solely on saliva, and is something more of a digital 'properness' brigade now, with posts in all-caps lamenting the backwardness of Bishkek natives and photos of misspelled signs or crumbling infrastructure.
The formality and the properness of the English was like a field day for me and Will.
Estimation of fit indices for testing the properness of the structural model of study index Approximate Estimated acceptance range value CMIN/DF <3 1.59 RMSEA <0.08 0.043 CFI 0.8--1 0.95 IFI 0.8--1 0.94 GFI 0.8--1 0.90 AGFI 0.8--1 0.88 Table 3.
authoritative discourses of social properness and acceptability.
The properness of the ideal [<<[PHI]>>.sub.S] is equivalent to the condition S [union] [<<[PHI]>>.sub.S] = [empty set].
"The Noel Coward, Ivor Novello type stylings of the era are there in her piano playing, and a stiff, properness in the voice.
Ella's decision to abandon Rick for Jean-Paul suggests that she can envision an alternative, happier family space that goes beyond stereotypical notions of feminine properness and domestic hierarchies.
On this basis, although the French civil procedure code maintains that the parties of the dispute will manage the proceeding according to their responsibilities and they have to adhere to the pre-specified rules and regulations; the article 3 of this act maintains: the judge is in charge of monitoring the properness of management of the proceeding and he/she has the power to determine the times and to issue the necessary arrangement.
A pre-test was conducted to ensure the properness of questionnaire where free from grammatical errors, sentences' structure were in proper and questions were understandable by an ordinary people.
Remarkably, his study also reveals that Anglo-origin speakers use this construction more than speakers of other ethnicities, which can reverse popular misconceptions regarding the properness of British speakers' language uses.