Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective proper pronunciation in American English /ˈprɑpər/
  1. 1
    [only before noun] appropriate for the purpose or situation
    You have to have the proper tools for the job.
    That’s not the proper way to do it!
    proper procedures: Councilors went against their own officers and ignored proper procedures.
  2. 2
    considered to be morally good
    I don’t think it would be proper for me to say any more.
    I’m sure you will all agree that this is the only proper course of action.
    right and proper: It’s only right and proper that his family should be present.
  3. 3
    considered to be real or serious
    When are you going to get a proper job?
    He needs proper medical care.
  4. 4
    behaving in a manner that most people would consider correct and polite
    Young people then were all terribly proper.
    Synonyms and related words
    Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    [never before noun] understood in its most exact meaning
    Does he live in Chicago proper or in the suburbs?
  6. 6
    mainly British informal complete in every detail
    He’s only six, but he’s already a proper little gentleman.
  7. 7
    formal belonging to a particular type of thing
    proper to: a style of architecture proper to the period


used to describe foods which don't contain ingredients such as wheat, dairy products etc …

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


lively or active

Open Dictionary

red market

the buying and selling of human organs

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog