- adj., adv., & n.
1 a accurate, correct (in the proper sense of the word; gave him the proper amount). b fit, suitable, right (at the proper time; do it the proper way).
2 decent; respectable, esp. excessively so (not quite proper).
3 (usu. foll. by to) belonging or relating exclusively or distinctively (with the respect proper to them).
4 (usu. placed after noun) strictly so called; real; genuine (this is the crypt, not the cathedral proper).
5 colloq. thorough; complete (had a proper row about it).
6 (usu. placed after noun) Heraldry in the natural, not conventional, colours (a peacock proper).
7 archaic (of a person) handsome; comely.
8 (usu. with possessive pronoun) archaic own (with my proper eyes).
—adv. Brit. dial. or colloq.
1 completely; very (felt proper daft).
2 (with reference to speech) in a genteel manner (learn to talk proper).
—n. Eccl. the part of a service that varies with the season or feast.
Phrases and idioms:
proper fraction a fraction that is less than unity, with the numerator less than the denominator. proper motion Astron. the part of the apparent motion of a fixed star etc. that is due to its actual movement in space relative to the sun. proper noun (or name) Gram. a name used for an individual person, place, animal, country, title, etc., and spelt with a capital letter, e.g. Jane, London, Everest. proper psalms (or lessons etc.) psalms or lessons etc. appointed for a particular day.
Etymology: ME f. OF propre f. L proprius one's own, special
Useful english dictionary. 2012.