American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Characterized by appropriateness or suitability; fitting: the proper knife for cutting bread; not a proper moment for a joke.
- adj. Called for by rules or conventions; correct: the proper form for a business letter.
- adj. Strictly following rules or conventions, especially in social behavior; seemly: a proper lady; a proper gentleman.
- adj. Belonging to one; own: restored to his proper shape by the magician.
- adj. Characteristically belonging to the being or thing in question; peculiar: an optical effect proper to fluids.
- adj. Being within the strictly limited sense, as of a term designating something: the town proper, excluding the suburbs.
- adj. Ecclesiastical For use in the liturgy of a particular feast or season of the year.
- adj. Mathematics Of or relating to a subset of a given set when the set has at least one element not in the subset.
- adj. Worthy of the name; true: wanted a proper dinner, not just a snack.
- adj. Out-and-out; thorough: a proper whipping.
- adv. Thoroughly: beat the eggs good and proper.
- n. Ecclesiastical The parts of the liturgy that vary according to the particular feast or season of the year.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Special; peculiar; belonging to a species or individual and to nothing else; springing from the peculiar nature of a given species or individual; particularly suited to or befitting one's nature; natural; original.
- Belonging to one; one's own.
- Fit; suitable; appropriate.
- According to recognized usage; correct; just: as, a proper word; a proper expression.
- Rightly so called, named, or described; taken in a strict sense: in this sense usually following the noun: as, the apes proper belong to the Old World; no shell-fish are fishes proper.
- Decent; correct in behavior; respectable; such as should be: as, proper conduct.
- Well-formed; good-looking; personable; handsome; also, physically strong or active.
- In heraldry, having its natural color or colors: said of any object used as a bearing: thus, a coil of rope proper is represented brown, and the spiral lines of the cordage are indicated.
- In liturgics, used only on a particular day or festival, or during a particular octave or season: as, the proper introit; a proper preface; proper psalms.
- Fine; pretty: said ironically of what is absurd or objectionable.
- Becoming; deserved.
- Synonyms Particular, individual, specific.
- 3 and Fitting, befitting, meet, seemly, becoming, legitimate.
- n. That which is set apart to special or individual use. Specifically, in liturgics, a special office or special parts of an office appointed for a particular day or time: as, the proper of the day; the proper of Whitsunday.
- n. A property in the logical sense.
- Properly; very; exceedingly.
- To appropriate.
- To make proper; adorn.
- In geometry, not figurative; not at infinity: as, proper points.
- adj. Suitable.
- adj. Possessed, related.
- adj. Accurate, strictly applied.
- adv. Scotland properly; thoroughly; completely.
- adv. nonstandard, slang properly
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Belonging to one; one's own; individual.
- adj. Belonging to the natural or essential constitution; peculiar; not common; particular.
- adj. Befitting one's nature, qualities, etc.; suitable in all respect; appropriate; right; fit; decent.
- adj. Archaic Becoming in appearance; well formed; handsome.
- adj. Pertaining to one of a species, but not common to the whole; not appellative; -- opposed to
- adj. Rightly so called; strictly considered
- adj. (Her.) Represented in its natural color; -- said of any object used as a charge.
- adv. Colloq & Vulgar Properly; hence, to a great degree; very.
- adj. having all the qualities typical of the thing specified
- adj. marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness
- adj. limited to the thing specified
- adj. appropriate for a condition or purpose or occasion or a person's character, needs
- From Anglo-Norman proper, propre, Old French propre (French: propre), and their source, Latin proprius. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English propre, from Old French, from Latin proprius; see per1 in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“No Tractarians proper are introduced: and this is noted in the advertisement: "No _proper_ representative is intended in this tale, of the religious opinions, which had lately so much influence in the University of Oxford.”
“For example, it is satisfied by a model in which a whole can be decomposed into several proper parts all of which overlap one another (Figure 2, right), and it may be argued that such models do not do justice to the meaning of ˜proper part™: after all, the idea is that the removal of a proper part should leave a remainder, but it is by no means clear what would be left of x once z (along with its parts) is removed.”
“As in the case of seeds, he used the term proper to bodies, saying, "it is not quickened, except it die:" so in the case of bodies, the expression belonging to seeds, saying, "it is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.”
“Boswell's conversation with the King about the title proper to be given to the Young Pretender.”
“_Boswell's conversation with the King about the title proper to be given to the Young Pretender.”
“But he is concerned with news that bin Laden's body was buried at sea, without what he called a proper Muslim burial.”
“U.S. officials said Wednesday they will continue to push for what they describe as proper reform.”
“When an Englishman used the word proper, he could only mean one thing—another Englishman.”
“Now, this is what I call proper spending of the defence budget”
“Eh bien, you must rest quietly a moment, and be courtois ... what you call proper, correct ... until you have explained what I wish to know.”
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