- 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.
Origin of improper
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for improperly
Down syndrome and other chromosomal rearrangements are often accompanied by improperly functioning organs and immune systems.Living With Disability in the Dark Ages
July 22, 2014
They call for Christians to reject the discovery because the “announcement may be improperly understood and reported.”Evangelicals Still Don’t Know What to Do With the Big Bang
Karl W. Giberson
March 23, 2014
One of the best ways to stem this flow of guns is to identify which gun dealers are improperly selling to criminals.Free the ATF From the Gun Lobby
June 11, 2013
It was improperly disarmed, resulting in the death of an NYPD officer and 30 injuries.Grand Central Terminal: 100 Years, 100 Facts
February 1, 2013
Of course, that might not be the case for actual homeowners who may have been improperly foreclosed on.Banks Settle Mortgage Investigations with Nearly $20 Billion in Payments
January 7, 2013
"By their improperly intelligent expression," returned Phil.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
The first of these words is often improperly used for the second.The Verbalist
Thomas Embly Osmun, (AKA Alfred Ayres)
That is all-powerful, but I will not employ it unseasonably or improperly.Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon
There is likewise a small-sized partridge, which is improperly called the quail.The Western World
I think Renée behaved most improperly this evening; that's all.Rene Mauperin
Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
- lacking propriety; not seemly or fitting
- unsuitable for a certain use or occasion; inappropriatean improper use for a tool
- irregular or abnormal
Word Origin and History for improperly
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.).