noun, plural im·pro·pri·e·ties for 4, 5.

the quality or condition of being improper; incorrectness.
inappropriateness; unsuitableness.
unseemliness; indecorousness.
an erroneous or unsuitable expression, act, etc.
an improper use of a word or phrase.

Origin of impropriety

From the Late Latin word improprietās, dating back to 1605–15. See im-2, propriety Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for impropriety

Contemporary Examples of impropriety

Historical Examples of impropriety

  • It was not a wise thing to do, but her anger prevented her from seeing its impropriety.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • The impropriety of the whole proceeding had only struck her as she opened the door.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • Madame, you see, despaired by now of controlling the impropriety of her niece's expressions.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • I think there is now no impropriety in stating that it is to her that the poem "Memories" refers.


    Samuel T. Pickard

  • There was, then, an impropriety in my living at Aix as I did?

British Dictionary definitions for impropriety


noun plural -ties

lack of propriety; indecency; indecorum
an improper act or use
the state of being improper
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 impropriety

1610s, "quality or fact of being improper," from French impropriété (16c.), from Latin improprietas, from improprius (see improper). As "improper thing," 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper