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.
    • 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]