UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈprɒpər/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈprɑpɚ/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(propər)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
prop•er /ˈprɑpɚ/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. most suitable;
    correct:[before a noun]Is this the proper time to plant strawberries?
  2. agreeing with established or accepted standards:proper behavior.[It + be + ~ + to + verb]It's not proper to come so late to parties.
  3. in the strict sense:[after a noun]Shellfish do not belong to the class of fishes proper.
  4. British Terms[Chiefly Brit.]utter;
    genuine:[before a noun]a proper fool.
prop•er•ly, adv. See -propr-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
prop•er  (propər),USA pronunciation adj. 
  1. adapted or appropriate to the purpose or circumstances;
    suitable:the proper time to plant strawberries.
  2. conforming to established standards of behavior or manners;
    correct or decorous:a very proper young man.
  3. fitting;
    right:It was only proper to bring a gift.
  4. strictly belonging or applicable:the proper place for a stove.
  5. belonging or pertaining exclusively or distinctly to a person, thing, or group.
  6. strict;
  7. 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?
  8. Grammar
    • (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.
  9. normal or regular.
  10. belonging to oneself or itself;
  11. British Terms[Chiefly Brit. Informal.]complete or thorough:a proper thrashing.
  12. Religion[Eccles.]used only on a particular day or festival:the proper introit.
  13. Heraldry(of a device) depicted in its natural colors:an oak tree proper.
  14. Informal Terms
    • excellent;
    • good-looking or handsome.
  15. Mathematics(of a subset of a set) not equal to the whole set.
  16. [Archaic.]of good character;

  1. Informal Termsthoroughly;

  1. Religion[Eccles.]a special office or special parts of an office appointed for a particular day or time.
proper•ly, adv. 
proper•ness, n. 
  • Latin proprius one's own
  • Old French
  • Middle English propre 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged suited.
    • 2, 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged meet, befitting, becoming, decent, polite.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged special, individual, peculiar.
    • 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged precise, exact, just, formal.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
proper /ˈprɒpə/ adj
  1. (usually prenominal) appropriate or suited for some purpose: in its proper place
  2. correct in behaviour or conduct
  3. excessively correct in conduct; vigorously moral
  4. up to a required or regular standard
  5. (immediately postpositive) (of an object, quality, etc) referred to or named specifically so as to exclude anything not directly connected with it: his claim is connected with the deed proper
  6. (postpositive) followed by to: belonging to or characteristic of a person or thing
  7. (prenominal) Brit informal (intensifier): I felt a proper fool
  8. (usually postpositive) (of heraldic colours) considered correct for the natural colour of the object or emblem depicted: three martlets proper
  9. archaic pleasant or good
  1. good and properinformal thoroughly
  1. the parts of the Mass that vary according to the particular day or feast on which the Mass is celebrated
Etymology: 13th Century: via Old French from Latin prōprius special

ˈproperly adv ˈproperness n
'proper' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [the, a] proper way to [do, make, fix], the proper use of [cleaning products, semicolons, English], am I in the proper place?, more...

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