unproper

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From un- +‎ proper.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

unproper (comparative more unproper, superlative most unproper)

  1. (obsolete) Improper, not according with fact or reason; wrong, irregular. [14th-17th c.]
    • c. 1631, John Donne, letter to Sir Henry Goodyere, Works, Letter XC, p. 409:
      Sir, as I said last time, labour to keep your alacrity and dignity, in an even temper: for in a dark sadness, indifferent things seem abominable, or necessary, being neither; as trees, and sheep, to melancholy night-walkers, have unproper shapes.
  2. (now rare) Improper, not suited for its use or application; inappropriate. [from 16th c.]
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, VII.694:
      The pleasure in the act of Venus is the greatest of the pleasures of the senses: the matching of it with itch is unproper; though that also be pleasing to the touch.
    • 2009, "Own Goal for Football", The Times, 10 Oct 09:
      Transparency is paramount. If football’s guardians cannot deliver it they will, rightly, be deemed to be every bit as unfit and unproper to play a role in administering the sport as any secretive investor they may feel motivated to investigate.
  3. (obsolete) Not belonging to a given person; someone else's. [17th c.]
    • 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, IV.1:
      There's Millions now aliue, That nightly lye in those vnproper beds, Which they dare sweare peculiar.
  4. (rare) Improper, not according with good standards of behaviour; indecent, indecorous. [from 19th c.]
    • 1962, "Meet me in St. Louis", Time, 27 Apr 1962:
      His equally unproper brother, City Planner Charles W. II, shocked purists in the 19303 by building a flat-topped house in Ipswich.