- 1 [only before noun] right, appropriate, or correct; according to the rules We should have had a proper discussion before voting. Please follow the proper procedures for dealing with complaints. Nothing is in its proper place.
- 2 socially and morally acceptable It is right and proper that parents take responsibility for their children's attendance at school. The development was planned without proper regard to the interests of local people. He is always perfectly proper in his behavior. opposite improper see also propriety
- 3 [after noun] according to the most exact meaning of the word The celebrations proper always begin on the last stroke of midnight.
- 4proper to something (formal) belonging to a particular type of thing; natural in a particular situation or place They should be treated with the dignity proper to all individuals created by God.
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