Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: propre, from Latin proprius 'own'

proper

1 adjective
     
prop‧er1 S1 W2
1 [only before noun] right, suitable, or correct:
Everything was in its proper place (=where it should be).
the proper way to clean your teeth
The proper name for Matthew's condition is hyperkinetic syndrome.
2 socially or legally correct and acceptable [≠ improper]
it is proper (for somebody) to do something
I don't feel that it would be proper for me to give you that information.
It is only right and proper that an independent inquiry should take place.
3 [only before noun] British English spoken real, or of a good and generally accepted standard [= decent, real American English]
When are you going to settle down and get a proper job?
Try to eat proper meals instead of fast-food takeaways.
4 [only after noun] the real or main part of something, not other parts before, after or near to it:
The friendly chat which comes before the interview proper is intended to relax the candidate.
the city centre proper
5

proper to something

formal
a) belonging to one particular type of thing:
the reasoning abilities proper to our species
b) suitable for something:
dressed in a way that was proper to the occasion
6 [only before noun] British English spoken complete [= real]:
He's made a proper fool of himself this time!
7 very polite, and careful to do what is socially correct:
She was very formal and proper.

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