[ prop-er ]
/ ˈprɒp ər /
adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances; fit; suitable: the proper time to plant strawberries.
conforming to established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous: a very proper young man.
fitting; right: It was only proper to bring a gift.
strictly belonging or applicable: the proper place for a stove.
belonging or pertaining exclusively or distinctly to a person, thing, or group.
in the strict sense of the word (usually used postpositively): Shellfish do not belong to the fishes proper. Is the school within Boston proper or in the suburbs?
- (of a name, noun, or adjective) designating a particular person or thing and written in English with an initial capital letter, as Joan, Chicago, Monday, American.
- having the force or function of a proper name: a proper adjective.
normal or regular.
belonging to oneself or itself; own.
Chiefly British Informal. complete or thorough: a proper thrashing.
Ecclesiastical. used only on a particular day or festival: the proper introit.
Heraldry. (of a device) depicted in its natural colors: an oak tree proper.
- excellent; capital; fine.
- good-looking or handsome.
Mathematics. (of a subset of a set) not equal to the whole set.
Archaic. of good character; respectable.
Informal. thoroughly; completely.
Ecclesiastical. a special office or special parts of an office appointed for a particular day or time.
When To Capitalize “Earth”When it comes to writing, this common English word confuses many native speakers who aren’t sure whether to use Earth or earth. Why is this an issue? Earth can be either a proper noun or a common noun. In English, proper nouns (nouns which signify a particular person, place, or thing) are capitalized. Following this rule, when Earth is discussed as a specific planet or …
Here’s When To Capitalize WordsThere are a few specific cases where words should be capitalized. They’re easy to remember. In English, capital letters are most commonly used at the start of a sentence, for the pronoun I, and for proper nouns. The First Word of a Sentence You should always capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence, no matter what the word is. Take, for …
Origin of proper
1250–1300; Middle English propre < Old French < Latin proprius one's own
Related formsprop·er·ly, adverbprop·er·ness, nounun·prop·er, adjectiveun·prop·er·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for properness
His properness qualifies him, and of that a good leg; for his head he has little use but to keep it bare.Microcosmography|John Earle
British Dictionary definitions for properness
/ (ˈprɒpə) /
(usually prenominal) appropriate or suited for some purposein its proper place
correct in behaviour or conduct
excessively correct in conduct; vigorously moral
up to a required or regular standard
(immediately postpositive) (of an object, quality, etc) referred to or named specifically so as to exclude anything not directly connected with ithis claim is connected with the deed proper
(postpositive foll by to) belonging to or characteristic of a person or thing
(prenominal) British informal (intensifier)I felt a proper fool
(usually postpositive) (of heraldic colours) considered correct for the natural colour of the object or emblem depictedthree martlets proper
maths logic (of a relation) distinguished from a weaker relation by excluding the case where the relata are identical. For example, every set is a subset of itself, but a proper subset must exclude at least one member of the containing setSee also strict (def. 6)
archaic pleasant or good
British dialect (intensifier)he's proper stupid
good and proper informal thoroughlyto get drunk good and proper
the parts of the Mass that vary according to the particular day or feast on which the Mass is celebratedCompare ordinary (def. 10)
Derived Formsproperly, adverbproperness, noun
Word Origin for proper
C13: via Old French from Latin prōprius special
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