(adjective, adverb)


1. marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness

- proper medical treatment

- proper manners

Similar word(s): appropriate, correct, right, decent, decorous, becoming, comely, decorous, seemly, correct, right, decent, fitting, halal, kosher, priggish, prim, prissy, prudish, puritanical, straightlaced, straitlaced, victorian

2. having all the qualities typical of the thing specified

- wanted a proper dinner, not just a snack

- he finally has a proper job

Similar word(s): real

3. limited to the thing specified

- the city proper

- his claim is connected with the deed proper

Similar word(s): specific

4. appropriate for a condition or purpose or occasion or a person's character, needs

- everything in its proper place

Similar word(s): appropriate, right

Sentences with proper as an adjective:

- the proper time to plant potatoes

- a very proper young lady

- Now that was a proper breakfast.

- When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a proper fool.


1. (Scotland) properly; thoroughly; completely

2. (nonstandard, slang) properly