See also: Proper and pro per

English edit

 
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Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English propre, from Anglo-Norman proper, propre, Old French propre (French: propre), from Latin proprius.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

proper (comparative more proper, superlative most proper)

  1. Suitable.
    1. Suited or acceptable to the purpose or circumstances; fit, suitable. [13th c.]
      the proper time to plant potatoes
      • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. [], (please specify |epistle=I to IV), London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, [], →OCLC:
        The proper study of mankind is man.
      • 2014 June 14, “It's a gas”, in The Economist, volume 411, number 8891:
        One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains. Isolating a city’s effluent and shipping it away in underground sewers has probably saved more lives than any medical procedure except vaccination.
    2. Following the established standards of behavior or manners; correct or decorous. [18th c.]
      a very proper young lady
      • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
        This new-comer was a man who in any company would have seemed striking. [] Indeed, all his features were in large mold, like the man himself, as though he had come from a day when skin garments made the proper garb of men.
      • 2014, Paul Chrystal, Tea: A Very British Beverage:
        The Nippy became a national icon, symbolic of the girl next door, always approachable and proper; []
  2. Possessed, related.
    1. (grammar) Used to designate a particular person, place, or thing. Proper nouns are usually written with an initial capital letter. [14th c.]
    2. Pertaining exclusively to a specific thing or person; particular. [14th c.]
      • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
        , II.1.3:
        They have a proper saint almost for every peculiar infirmity: for poison, gouts, agues [].
      • 1829, James Marsh, Preliminary Essay to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Aids to Reflection
        those higher and peculiar attributes [] which constitute our proper humanity
    3. (usually postpositive) In the strict sense; within the strict definition or core (of a specified place, taxonomic order, idea, etc).
      • 1893, Annual of the Universal Medical Sciences:
        These are divided into two great families, the vipers proper (Viperidae) and the pit-vipers (Crotalidae).
      • 1976, Eu-Yang Kwang, The political reconstruction of China, page 165:
        Siberia, though it stands outside the territorial confines of Russia proper, constitutes an essentially component part [] . Outer Mongolia, [so called] to distinguish it from Inner Mongolia, which lies nearer to China proper, revolted and declared its independence.
      • 2004, Stress, the Brain and Depression, page 24:
        Hence, this border is still blurred, raising the question whether traumatic life events induce sadness/distress – which is self-evident – or depression proper and, secondly, whether sadness/distress is a precursor or pacemaker of depression.
      • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:proper.
    4. Belonging to oneself or itself; own. [14th c.]
    5. (heraldry) Portrayed in natural or usual coloration, as opposed to conventional tinctures. [16th c.]
    6. (mathematics) Being strictly part of some other thing (not necessarily explicitly mentioned, but of definitional importance), and not being the thing itself. [20th c.]
    7. (mathematics, physics) Eigen-; designating a function or value which is an eigenfunction or eigenvalue. [20th c.]
  3. Accurate, strictly applied.
    1. Excellent, of high quality; such as the specific person or thing should ideally be. (Now often merged with later senses.) [14th c.]
      Now that was a proper breakfast.
    2. (now regional) Attractive, elegant. [14th c.]
    3. (often postpositive) In the very strictest sense of the word. [14th c.]
      • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[Episode 16]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare and Company, [], →OCLC:
        Though unusual in the Dublin area he knew that it was not by any means unknown for desperadoes who had next to nothing to live on to be abroad waylaying and generally terrorising peaceable pedestrians by placing a pistol at their head in some secluded spot outside the city proper [].
    4. (now colloquial) Utter, complete. [15th c.]
      When I realized I was wearing my shirt inside out, I felt a proper fool.

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb edit

proper (not comparable)

  1. (UK, colloquial) properly; thoroughly; completely.
    • 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, When the World Screamed[1]:
      'I thought it was the American Associated Press.' 'Oh, they are on the track, are they?' 'They to-day, and the Times yesterday. Oh, they are buzzing round proper.'
    • 1956, Anthony Burgess, Time for a Tiger (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 202:
      “Christmas Eve,” said Nabby Adams. “I used to pump the bloody organ for the carols, proper pissed usually.”
    • 1957, Ray Lawler, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Sydney: Fontana Books, published 1974, page 32:
      The kid towelled him up proper.
    • 1964, Saint Andrew Society (Glasgow, Scotland), The Scots magazine: Volume 82
      Don't you think you must have looked proper daft?
  2. (nonstandard, colloquial) properly.
    • 1988, Mary Steele, Mallyroot's Pub at Misery Ponds, Ringwood: Puffin Books, page 68:
      "But it's not many of us as can make 'em proper."
    • 2012, Latta, Soufside, Hello (song)
      When I meet a bad chick, know I gotta tell her hello
      talk real proper, but she straight up out the ghetto

Noun edit

proper (plural propers)

  1. (obsolete) Something set apart for a special use.
  2. (Christianity) A part of the Christian liturgy that varies according to the date.
    Coordinate term: ordinary (noun)

Anagrams edit

Catalan edit

Etymology edit

From prop +‎ -er.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

proper (feminine propera, masculine plural propers, feminine plural properes)

  1. near, close
    Synonym: pròxim
  2. neighbouring
  3. next
    Synonym: següent

Synonyms edit

Related terms edit

Further reading edit

  • “proper” in Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Antoni Maria Alcover and Francesc de Borja Moll, 1962.

Danish edit

Etymology edit

Borrowed from French propre (clean, house-trained, own), from Latin proprius (own).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /proːbər/, [ˈpʰʁ̥oːˀb̥ɐ]

Adjective edit

proper

  1. cleanly
  2. tidy

Inflection edit

Inflection of proper
Positive Comparative Superlative
Indefinte common singular proper 2
Indefinite neuter singular propert 2
Plural propre 2
Definite attributive1 propre
1) When an adjective is applied predicatively to something definite, the corresponding "indefinite" form is used.
2) The "indefinite" superlatives may not be used attributively.

Derived terms edit

References edit

Dutch edit

Etymology edit

From Middle Dutch proper, from Old French propre, from Latin proprius.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈproː.pər/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: pro‧per

Adjective edit

proper (comparative properder, superlative properst)

  1. (chiefly Belgium) clean

Inflection edit

Inflection of proper
uninflected proper
inflected propere
comparative properder
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial proper properder het properst
het properste
indefinite m./f. sing. propere properdere properste
n. sing. proper properder properste
plural propere properdere properste
definite propere properdere properste
partitive propers properders

Synonyms edit

German edit

Etymology edit

Ultimately from Old French propre, from Latin proprius. Probably borrowed in north-western dialects via Middle Dutch proper [13th c., sense: 15th c.], later generalized under the influence of modern French propre. The colloquial euphemism for “chubby” may, in part, be due to association with Proppen (whence also proppenvoll and Wonneproppen).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

proper (strong nominative masculine singular properer, comparative properer, superlative am propersten)

  1. (somewhat informal, dated) in good condition: clean; neat; well-kept; developed
    Bis vor kurzem herrschte hier bittere Armut, aber jetzt ist es ein ganz properes Städtchen geworden.
    Until recently bitter poverty prevailed around here, but now it’s become rather a neat little town.
  2. (colloquial, euphemistic) overweight; chubby
    Die Linda war doch immer so’ne Schlanke, aber jetzt sieht sie ziemlich proper aus.
    Linda was always a slender one, but now she looks pretty chubby.

Declension edit

Further reading edit

  • proper” in Duden online
  • proper” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache

Old French edit

Adjective edit

proper m (oblique and nominative feminine singular proper)

  1. (rare) Alternative form of propre
    Or a mai entendez Ki proper volunté amez, Set Pechez 70

Swedish edit

Adjective edit

proper (comparative proprare, superlative proprast)

  1. neat, tidy
    Synonym: välvårdad
  2. proper (following (strict) established social standards)
    en proper tillställning
    a proper event

Declension edit

Inflection of proper
Indefinite Positive Comparative Superlative2
Common singular proper proprare proprast
Neuter singular propert proprare proprast
Plural propra proprare proprast
Masculine plural3 propre proprare proprast
Definite Positive Comparative Superlative
Masculine singular1 propre proprare propraste
All propra proprare propraste
1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic

References edit