proper - definition and synonyms


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  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. 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
    1. a.
      behaving in a way that is so polite that other people feel annoyed or uncomfortable

      He’s always so prim and proper.

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

    Does he live in Swansea proper or in the suburbs?

  6. 6
    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