AskDefine | Define proper

Dictionary Definition

proper adj
1 marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness; "proper medical treatment"; "proper manners" [ant: improper]
2 limited to the thing specified; "the city proper"; "his claim is connected with the deed proper" [syn: proper(ip)]
3 appropriate for a condition or occasion; "everything in its proper place"; "the right man for the job"; "she is not suitable for the position" [syn: right, suitable]
4 having all the qualities typical of the thing specified; "wanted a proper dinner; not just a snack"; "he finally has a proper job" [syn: proper(a)]

User Contributed Dictionary



From proper, (French: propre), from proprius.


  • a Australian /ˈprɔp.ə/, /"prOp.@/
  • a UK /ˈprɒp.ə/, /"prQp.@/
  • a US , /ˈprɑp.ɚ/, /"prAp.@`/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒpə(r)


  1. Suited or acceptable to the purpose or circumstances; fit, suitable.
    The proper time to plant potatoes.
  2. Following the established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous.
    A very proper young lady.
  3. Fitting; right.
    It is only proper to bring food to a potluck.
  4. Exact; precise.
  5. In the context of "postpositive": In the very strictest sense of the word.
    According to the Supreme Court, tomatoes do not belong to the fruits proper.
    The school is located in the town proper.
  6. Used to designate a particular person, place, or thing. Proper words are usually written with an initial capital letter.
  7. Common or ordinary.
  8. Belonging to oneself or itself; own.
    He was restored to his proper color after taking the elixir.
  9. Complete or thorough.
    I gave that boy a proper whipping.
  10. Entitled to its name; true.
    I wanted a proper breakfast, not just a morning snack.
  11. Having its natural or usual coloration, though this is often according to what heraldic convention defines as the natural or usual; proper is considered to be its own tincture.
  12. In the context of "informal": utter
    When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a proper fool.

Related terms


fit, suitable
  • Dutch: goed, juist, gepast, geschikt
  • Finnish: oikea
  • Japanese: ふさわしい, 適した, 適切な, 適当な, 妥当な
  • Russian: подходящий, соответствующий, надлежащий
following the established standards of behavior or manners
  • Dutch: keurig, goed, net, deugdelijk
  • Finnish: kunnollinen, kelpo, kunnon
  • French: convenable, exact, juste, propre
  • Italian: decente, proprio
  • Japanese: きちんとした, 品の良い, 上品な
  • Kurdish: په‌سه‌ند
  • Polish: właściwy
  • Russian: правильный
  • Spanish: conveniente, preciso
fitting, right
  • Dutch: juist, gepast
  • Finnish: oikea, sopiva
  • Japanese: ふさわしい, 妥当な, 当然の
  • Russian: правильный
exact, precise
  • Dutch: exact, precies
  • Finnish: tarkka, oikea
  • Japanese: 正確な, 厳密な, 文字通りの
  • Russian: точный
in the very strictest sense of the word
  • Dutch: echt, eigenlijk, zelf
  • Finnish: varsinainen
  • Japanese: 厳密な
  • Russian: самый, как таковой
grammar: designating a particular person, place or thing
  • Dutch: eigen
  • Finnish: erisnimi (=proper noun)
  • Japanese: 固有な
  • Russian: собственный
common, ordinary
  • Dutch: gewoon, normaal, gebruikelijk
  • Finnish: oikea
  • Japanese: 元の, 本来の, 元来の
belonging to oneself or itself, own
  • Dutch: eigen
  • Finnish: oikea
  • Japanese: 元の, 本来の, 固有の, 特有の, 独特の
  • Russian: собственный
complete, thorough
  • Dutch: grondig
  • Finnish: kelpo
  • Japanese: 完全な, 徹底した
entitled to its name, true
  • Dutch: echt, degelijk
  • Finnish: oikea, varsinainen
  • Japanese: まともな
heraldry: having its natural or usual coloration
  • Finnish: luonnonvärinen
  • Japanese: 元の, 元来の, 本来の, 固有の, 特有の
informal: utter
  • Dutch: volslagen, compleet
  • Finnish: oikea
  • Japanese: 全くの, 完全な, 完璧な
  • Russian: полный, круглый, настоящий
checktrans-top right or correct



  • /ˈpro.pər/


  1. In the context of "mainly|_|Flemish": clean




Extensive Definition

Proper may refer to:
  • Proper (liturgy), the part of a Christian liturgy that is specific to the date within the Liturgical Year
  • Proper frame, such system of reference in which object is stationary (non moving), sometimes also called a co-moving frame
  • Proper, in heraldry, means depicted in natural colors
  • Proper or appropriate conduct
In mathematics:
  • Proper map, in topology , a property of continuous function between topological spaces, if inverse images of compact subsets are compact
  • Proper morphism, in algebraic geometry, an analogue of a proper map for algebraic varieties
  • Proper transfer function, a transfer function in control theory in which the degree of the numerator does not exceed the degree of the denominator
  • It is also used to indicate a subspace or a subset is strictly smaller than its parent—see "strict"

See also

proper in French: Propre

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Christian, OK, absolute, accepted, accommodated to, according to, according to Hoyle, accurate, acknowledged, adapted, adapted to, adjusted to, admitted, advantageous, advisable, after, agreeable to, agreeably to, all right, alone, answerable to, applicable, apposite, appropriate, approved, apropos, apt, arrant, au fait, authentic, authoritative, balanced, banausic, becoming, befitting, being done, beneficial, blamed, by, canonical, capable, characteristic, civil, classical, comely, comme il faut, commodious, competent, complete, condign, conformable, conformable to, conforming, conformist, confounded, congruent with, congruous, consistent with, consummate, convenient, conventional, correct, crashing, crass, customary, de rigueur, dead right, decent, decided, decorous, defensible, definitive, delicate, deserved, desirable, desired, diagnostic, dignified, distinct, distinctive, distinguished, downright, due, egregious, elegant, employable, equitable, established, evangelical, even, evenhanded, exact, expected, expedient, fair, fair and square, faithful, faultless, favorable, feasible, felicitous, firm, fit, fitten, fitting, flagrant, flawless, formal, fructuous, functional, genteel, gentlemanly, glaring, good, good for, gross, happy, helpful, idiocratic, idiosyncratic, in accordance with, in agreement with, in character, in compliance with, in conformity with, in correspondence to, in harmony with, in keeping with, in line with, in lock-step with, in obedience to, in step with, in uniformity with, individual, infernal, inspired, intolerable, intrinsic, just, just right, justifiable, justified, kosher, ladylike, lawful, legal, letter-perfect, level, likely, literal, marked, meet, meet and right, merited, meticulous, modest, nice, normal, normative, of general utility, of help, of service, of the faith, of use, okay, only, opportune, orthodox, orthodoxical, out-and-out, outright, own, particular, peculiar, per, perfect, polite, politic, positive, practical, pragmatical, precious, precise, prig, priggish, prissy, profitable, profound, pronounced, proper to, prudish, punctilious, puritanical, qualified, quintessential, rank, received, recognized, recommendable, refined, regular, respectable, respective, right, right and proper, righteous, rightful, rigorous, satisfactory, scriptural, seasonable, seemly, sensible, separate, serviceable, shattering, shocking, single, singular, solely, sortable, sound, special, specific, square, standard, stark, stark-staring, straight, straight-up-and-down, straitlaced, strictly speaking, stuffy, suitable, suitable for, suited, superlative, surpassing, textual, the veriest, thorough, thoroughgoing, timely, to be desired, total, traditional, traditionalistic, true, true to form, true-blue, unbearable, unconscionable, undeniable, unequivocal, uniform with, unique, unmitigated, unqualified, unrelieved, unspoiled, urbane, useful, usual, utilitarian, utter, warrantable, warranted, well-chosen, well-expressed, well-put, well-timed, wicked, wise, worthwhile
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