Hypertext Webster Gateway: "proper"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Proper \Prop"er\, a. [OE. propre, F. propre, fr. L. proprius.
Cf. {Appropriate}.]
1. Belonging to one; one's own; individual. ``His proper
good'' [i. e., his own possessions]. --Chaucer. ``My
proper son.'' --Shak.

Now learn the difference, at your proper cost,
Betwixt true valor and an empty boast. --Dryden.

2. Belonging to the natural or essential constitution;
peculiar; not common; particular; as, every animal has his
proper instincts and appetites.

Those high and peculiar attributes . . . which
constitute our proper humanity. --Coleridge.

3. Befitting one's nature, qualities, etc.; suitable in all
respect; appropriate; right; fit; decent; as, water is the
proper element for fish; a proper dress.

The proper study of mankind is man. --Pope.

In Athens all was pleasure, mirth, and play, All
proper to the spring, and sprightly May. --Dryden.

4. Becoming in appearance; well formed; handsome. [Archaic]
``Thou art a proper man.'' --Chaucer.

Moses . . . was hid three months of his parents,
because they saw he was a proper child. --Heb. xi.

5. Pertaining to one of a species, but not common to the
whole; not appellative; -- opposed to {common}; as, a
proper name; Dublin is the proper name of a city.

6. Rightly so called; strictly considered; as, Greece proper;
the garden proper.

7. (Her.) Represented in its natural color; -- said of any
object used as a charge.

{In proper}, individually; privately. [Obs.] --Jer. Taylor.

{Proper flower} or {corolla} (Bot.), one of the single
florets, or corollets, in an aggregate or compound flower.

{Proper fraction} (Arith.) a fraction in which the numerator
is less than the denominator.

{Proper nectary} (Bot.), a nectary separate from the petals
and other parts of the flower. -- {Proper noun} (Gram.), a
name belonging to an individual, by which it is
distinguished from others of the same class; -- opposed to
{common noun}; as, John, Boston, America.

{Proper perianth} or {involucre} (Bot.), that which incloses
only a single flower.

{Proper receptacle} (Bot.), a receptacle which supports only
a single flower or fructification.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Proper \Prop"er\, adv.
Properly; hence, to a great degree; very; as, proper good.
[Colloq & Vulgar]

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: marked by suitability or rightness or appropriateness;
"proper medical treatment"; "proper manners" [ant: {improper}]
2: having all the qualities typical of the thing specified;
"wanted a proper dinner; not just a snack"; "he finally
has a proper job" [syn: {proper(a)}]
3: limited to the thing specified; "the city proper"; "his
claim is connected with the deed proper" [syn: {proper(ip)}]
4: appropriate for a condition or occasion; "everything in its
proper place"; "the right man for the job"; "she is not
suitable for the position" [syn: {right}, {suitable}]

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