improper

[im-prop-er]
See more synonyms for improper on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. not proper; not strictly belonging, applicable, correct, etc.; erroneous: He drew improper conclusions from the scant evidence.
  2. not in accordance with propriety of behavior, manners, etc.: improper conduct at a funeral.
  3. unsuitable or inappropriate, as for the purpose or occasion: improper attire for a formal dance.
  4. abnormal or irregular: improper functioning of the speech mechanism.

Origin of improper

From the Latin word improprius, dating back to 1535–45. See im-2, proper
Related formsim·prop·er·ly, adverbim·prop·er·ness, noun

Synonyms for improper

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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.

Antonyms for improper

1, 3. fitting, suitable. 2. proper.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for improperly

inadequately, clumsily, inappropriately, awkwardly, badly

Examples from the Web for improperly

Contemporary Examples of improperly

Historical Examples of improperly

  • "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

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • I think Renée behaved most improperly this evening; that's all.

    Rene Mauperin

    Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt


British Dictionary definitions for improperly

improper

adjective
  1. lacking propriety; not seemly or fitting
  2. unsuitable for a certain use or occasion; inappropriatean improper use for a tool
  3. 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 improperly

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