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proper definition

Overview

This page has 28 definitions of proper with English translations in 6 languages. Proper is an adjective, an adverb and noun. Examples of how to use proper in a sentence are shown. Also define these 52 related words and terms: suit, acceptable, purpose, circumstances, fit, suitable, established, standard, behavior, manners, correct, decorous, grammar, designate, particular, proper noun, initial, capital, belong, own, heraldry, coloration, mathematics, part, proper subset, physics, eigen-, eigenfunction, eigenvalue, attractive, elegant, ἀστεῖος, strict, sense, utter, complete, properly, near, close, pròxim, neighbouring, next, següent, cleanly, tidy, clean, neat, well-kept, developed, overweight, chubby, and propre.

See also: Proper and pro per

English proper definition

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English propre, from Anglo-Norman proper, propre, Old French propre (French: propre), from Latin proprius.

Pronunciation

Adjective

proper (comparative more proper, superlative most proper)

  1. (heading) Suitable.
    1. Suited or acceptable to the purpose or circumstances; fit, suitable. [13th c.]
      the proper time to plant potatoes
      • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. [], (please specify |epistle=I to IV), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, [], OCLC 960856019:
        The proper study of mankind is man.
      • 2014 June 14, “It's a gas”, in The Economist, volume 411, number 8891:
        One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains. Isolating a city’s effluent and shipping it away in underground sewers has probably saved more lives than any medical procedure except vaccination.
    2. Following the established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous. [18th c.]
      a very proper young lady
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0108:
        This new-comer was a man who in any company would have seemed striking. [] Indeed, all his features were in large mold, like the man himself, as though he had come from a day when skin garments made the proper garb of men.
    • Established definition
      simple past tense and past participle of establish
  2. (heading) Possessed, related.
    1. (grammar) Used to designate a particular person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are usually written with an initial capital letter. [14th c.]
    2. Pertaining exclusively to a specific thing or person; particular. [14th c.]
    3. (usually postpositive) In the strict sense; within the strict definition or core (of a specified place, taxonomic order, idea, etc).
      • 1893, Annual of the Universal Medical Sciences:
        These are divided into two great families, the vipers proper (Viperidae) and the pit-vipers (Crotalidae).
      • 1976, Eu-Yang Kwang, The political reconstruction of China, page 165:
        Siberia, though it stands outside the territorial confines of Russia proper, constitutes an essentially component part [] . Outer Mongolia, [so called] to distinguish it from Inner Mongolia, which lies nearer to China proper, revolted and declared its independence.
      • 2004, Stress, the Brain and Depression, page 24:
        Hence, this border is still blurred, raising the question whether traumatic life events induce sadness/distress – which is self-evident – or depression proper and, secondly, whether sadness/distress is a precursor or pacemaker of depression.
      • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:proper.
    4. (archaic) Belonging to oneself or itself; own. [14th c.]
    5. (heraldry) Portrayed in natural or usual coloration, as opposed to conventional tinctures. [16th c.]
    6. (mathematics) Being strictly part of some other thing (not necessarily explicitly mentioned, but of definitional importance), and not being the thing itself. [20th c.]
      proper subset — proper ideal
    7. (mathematics, physics) Eigen-; designating a function or value which is an eigenfunction or eigenvalue. [20th c.]
    • Proper Subset definition
      a set that is a subset of the set, but not equal to it.
    • Eigenfunction definition
      A function such that, for a given linear operator , for some scalar (called an eigenvalue).
    • Eigenvalue definition
      A scalar, , such that there exists a non-zero vector (a corresponding eigenvector) for which the image of under a given linear operator is equal to the image of under multiplication by ; i.e. .
  3. (heading) Accurate, strictly applied.
    1. Excellent, of high quality; such as the specific person or thing should ideally be. (Now often merged with later senses.) [14th c.]
      Now that was a proper breakfast.
    2. (now regional) Attractive, elegant. [14th c.]
      • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts 7:
        The same tyme was Moses borne, and was a propper [transl. ἀστεῖος (asteîos)] childe in the sight of God, which was norisshed up in his fathers housse thre monethes.
    3. (often postpositive) In the very strictest sense of the word. [14th c.]
      • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
        Though unusual in the Dublin area he knew that it was not by any means unknown for desperadoes who had next to nothing to live on to be abroad waylaying and generally terrorising peaceable pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the city proper [].
    4. (now colloquial) Utter, complete. [15th c.]
      When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a proper fool.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Related terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

Adverb

proper (not comparable)

  1. (Britain, Australia, colloquial) properly; thoroughly; completely.
    • 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, When the World Screamed[1]:
      'I thought it was the American Associated Press.' 'Oh, they are on the track, are they?' 'They to-day, and the Times yesterday. Oh, they are buzzing round proper.'
    • 1956, Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 202:
      “Christmas Eve,” said Nabby Adams. “I used to pump the bloody organ for the carols, proper pissed usually.”
    • 1957, Ray Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Sydney: Fontana Books, published 1974, page 32:
      The kid towelled him up proper.
    • 1964, Saint Andrew Society (Glasgow, Scotland), The Scots magazine: Volume 82
      Don't you think you must have looked proper daft?
  2. (nonstandard, colloquial) properly.
    • 2012, Soufside, Hello (song)
      When I meet a bad chick, know I gotta tell her hello
      talk real proper, but she straight up out the ghetto

Noun

proper (plural propers)

  1. (obsolete) Something set apart for a special use.

Anagrams


Catalan proper definition

Etymology

prop +‎ -er.

Pronunciation

Adjective

proper (feminine propera, masculine plural propers, feminine plural properes)

  1. near, close
    Synonym: pròxim
    • Close definition
      To remove a gap.
      1. To obstruct (an opening).
      2. To move so that an opening is closed. (1 of 13 close definitions)
  2. neighbouring
    • Neighbouring definition
      Alternative spelling of neighboring
  3. next
    Synonym: següent
    • Següent definition
      following, next (in order)

Synonyms

Related terms

Further reading

  • “proper” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.

Danish proper definition

Etymology

Borrowed from French propre (clean, house-trained, own), from Latin proprius (own).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /proːbər/, [ˈpʰʁ̥oːˀb̥ɐ]

Adjective

proper

  1. cleanly
  2. tidy

Inflection

Inflection of proper
Positive Comparative Superlative
Common singular proper 2
Neuter singular propert 2
Plural propre 2
Definite attributive1 propre
1) When an adjective is applied predicatively to something definite, the corresponding "indefinite" form is used.
2) The "indefinite" superlatives may not be used attributively.

Derived terms

References


Dutch proper definition

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈproː.pər/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: pro‧per

Etymology

From Middle Dutch proper, from Old French propre, from Latin proprius.

Adjective

proper (comparative properder, superlative properst)

  1. (chiefly Belgium) clean

Inflection

Inflection of proper
uninflected proper
inflected propere
comparative properder
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial proper properder het properst
het properste
indefinite m./f. sing. propere properdere properste
n. sing. proper properder properste
plural propere properdere properste
definite propere properdere properste
partitive propers properders

Synonyms


German proper definition

Etymology

Ultimately from Old French propre, from Latin proprius. Probably borrowed in north-western dialects via Middle Dutch proper [13th c., sense: 15th c.], later generalized under the influence of modern French propre. The colloquial euphemism for “chubby” may, in part, be due to association with Proppen (whence also proppenvoll and Wonneproppen).

Pronunciation

Adjective

proper (comparative properer, superlative am propersten)

  1. (somewhat informal, dated) in good condition: clean; neat; well-kept; developed
    Bis vor Kurzem herrschte hier bittere Armut, aber jetzt ist es ein ganz properes Städtchen geworden.
    Until recently bitter poverty prevailed around here, but now it’s become rather a neat little town.
  2. (colloquial, euphemistic) overweight; chubby
    Die Linda war doch immer so’ne Schlanke, aber jetzt sieht sie ziemlich proper aus.
    Linda was always a slender one, but now she looks pretty chubby.
    • Overweight definition
      Having a higher weight, especially body fat, than what is generally considered healthy for a given body type and height. (1 of 3 overweight definitions)

Declension

Further reading


Old French proper definition

Adjective

proper m (oblique and nominative feminine singular proper)

  1. (rare) Alternative form of propre
    Or a mai entendez Ki proper volunté amez, Set Pechez 70
    • Propre definition
      Obsolete form of proper.