Did you know?

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

proper

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

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.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
adjective British English pronunciation: proper /ˈprɒpə(r)/

Related dictionary definitions

 
  1. 1
    [only before noun] suitable for the purpose or situation

    You have to have the proper tools for the job.

    That's not the proper way to do it!

    The problem was they didn't have a proper place to rehearse.

    proper procedures:

    Councillors 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?

    Start the day with a proper breakfast.

    He needs proper medical care.

  4. 5
    [never before noun] understood in its most exact meaning

    Does he live in Swansea proper or in the suburbs?

  5. 6
    informal complete in every detail

    He's only six, but he's already a proper little gentleman.

  6. 7
    formal belonging to a particular type of thing
    proper to:

    a style of architecture proper to the period

Word of the Day

stargazer

someone who studies the stars

Blog

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