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Definition of "proper" []

  • Characterized by appropriateness or suitability; fitting: the proper knife for cutting bread; not a proper moment for a joke. (adjective)
  • Called for by rules or conventions; correct: the proper form for a business letter. (adjective)
  • Strictly following rules or conventions, especially in social behavior; seemly: a proper lady; a proper gentleman. (adjective)
  • Belonging to one; own: restored to his proper shape by the magician. (adjective)
  • Characteristically belonging to the being or thing in question; peculiar: an optical effect proper to fluids. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "proper" in a sentence
  • "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.""