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improper

[im-prop-er] /ɪmˈprɒp ər/
adjective
1.
not proper; not strictly belonging, applicable, correct, etc.; erroneous:
He drew improper conclusions from the scant evidence.
2.
not in accordance with propriety of behavior, manners, etc.:
improper conduct at a funeral.
3.
unsuitable or inappropriate, as for the purpose or occasion:
improper attire for a formal dance.
4.
abnormal or irregular:
improper functioning of the speech mechanism.
Origin of improper
1535-1545
1535-45; < Latin improprius. See im-2, proper
Related forms
improperly, adverb
improperness, noun
Synonyms
1–3. inapplicable, unsuited, unfit. 2. indecorous. Improper, indecent, unbecoming, unseemly are applied to that which is unfitting or not in accordance with propriety. Improper has a wide range, being applied to whatever is not suitable or fitting, and often specifically to what does not conform to the standards of conventional morality: improper diet; improper behavior in church; improper language. Indecent, a strong word, is applied to what is offensively contrary to standards of propriety and especially of modesty: indecent behavior, literature. Unbecoming is applied to what is especially unfitting in the person concerned: conduct unbecoming a minister. Unseemly is applied to whatever is unfitting or improper under the circumstances: unseemly mirth.
Antonyms
1, 3. fitting, suitable. 2. proper.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for improper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For my own part, I thought pride in his case an improper subject for raillery.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • Before we quit this island, it will not, perhaps, be improper to mention some things about it.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • To define equality that which is contrary to inequality, is improper.

    Aristotle George Grote
  • The improper connections were soon removed and others substituted.

  • Complex and improper fractions and recurring decimals are not allowed.

    Amusements in Mathematics Henry Ernest Dudeney
British Dictionary definitions for improper

improper

/ɪmˈprɒpə/
adjective
1.
lacking propriety; not seemly or fitting
2.
unsuitable for a certain use or occasion; inappropriate: an improper use for a tool
3.
irregular or abnormal
Derived Forms
improperly, adverb
improperness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for improper
adj.

mid-15c., "not true," from French impropre (14c.), from Latin improprius, from assimilated form of in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + proprius (see proper). Meaning "not suited, unfit" is from 1560s; that of "not in accordance with good manners, modesty, decency" is from 1739. Related: Improperly (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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