improper

[ im-prop-er ]
/ ɪmˈprɒp ər /

adjective

not proper; not strictly belonging, applicable, correct, etc.; erroneous: He drew improper conclusions from the scant evidence.
not in accordance with propriety of behavior, manners, etc.: improper conduct at a funeral.
unsuitable or inappropriate, as for the purpose or occasion: improper attire for a formal dance.
abnormal or irregular: improper functioning of the speech mechanism.

Nearby words

  1. improbability,
  2. improbable,
  3. improbity,
  4. imprompt,
  5. impromptu,
  6. improper fraction,
  7. improper integral,
  8. improperia,
  9. impropriate,
  10. impropriety

Origin of improper

From the Latin word improprius, dating back to 1535–45. See im-2, proper

SYNONYMS FOR improper
1–3. inapplicable, unsuited, unfit. 2. indecorous. Improper, indecent, unbecoming, unseemly are applied to that which is unfitting or not in accordance with propriety. Improper has a wide range, being applied to whatever is not suitable or fitting, and often specifically to what does not conform to the standards of conventional morality: improper diet; improper behavior in church; improper language. Indecent, a strong word, is applied to what is offensively contrary to standards of propriety and especially of modesty: indecent behavior, literature. Unbecoming is applied to what is especially unfitting in the person concerned: conduct unbecoming a minister. Unseemly is applied to whatever is unfitting or improper under the circumstances: unseemly mirth.

Related formsim·prop·er·ly, adverbim·prop·er·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for improper


British Dictionary definitions for improper

improper

/ (ɪmˈprɒpə) /

adjective

lacking propriety; not seemly or fitting
unsuitable for a certain use or occasion; inappropriatean improper use for a tool
irregular or abnormal
Derived Formsimproperly, adverbimproperness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for improper

improper

adj.

mid-15c., "not true," from French impropre (14c.), from Latin improprius, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + proprius (see proper). Meaning "not suited, unfit" is from 1560s; that of "not in accordance with good manners, modesty, decency" is from 1739. Related: Improperly (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper