propriety

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Late Middle English propriete ‎(ownership), from Anglo-Norman propreté, Middle French proprieté, from Latin proprietās. Compare property.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

propriety ‎(countable and uncountable, plural proprieties)

  1. (obsolete) The particular character or essence of someone or something; individuality. [14th-19th c.]
  2. (obsolete) A characteristic; an attribute. [14th-19th c.]
  3. (now rare) A piece of land owned by someone; someone's property. [from 15th c.]
  4. (obsolete) More generally, something owned by someone; a possession. [15th-18th c.]
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
      I was fearful of giving You a very sensible Disgust, in making You seem the Propriety of one Man, when You know Yourself ordained for the Comfort and Refreshment of Multitudes.
  5. The fact of possessing something; ownership. [from 15th c.]
  6. (now rare) Correct language or pronunciation. [from 16th c.]
  7. Suitability, fitness; the quality of being appropriate. [from 17th c.]
  8. Correctness in behaviour and morals; good manners, seemliness. [from 18th c.]
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 12:
      Elinor then ventured to doubt the propriety of her receiving such a present from a man so little, or at least so lately known to her.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House
      Miss Griffin was a model of propriety, and I am at a loss to imagine what the feelings of the virtuous woman would have been, if she had known, when she paraded us down the Hampstead Road two and two, that she was walking with a stately step at the head of Polygamy and Mahomedanism.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      The neighbor is eventually able to sell her home despite Homer’s pants-less affronts to propriety and decency and Bart falls deeply and instantly for one of its new inhabitants, a tough but charming and funny tomboy girl named Laura (voiced by Sara Gilbert) with just the right combination of toughness and sweetness, granite and honey.

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]