chiefly British denoting something that is truly what it is said or regarded to be; genuine:she’s never had a proper job a proper meal
[postpositive] strictly so called; in its true form:after this event, three countries will progress to the World Cup proper informal used as an intensifier, especially in derogatory contexts:a proper little do-gooder, aren’t I? 2 [attributive] of the required or correct type or form; suitable or appropriate:an artist needs the proper tools they had not followed the proper procedures according to or respecting social standards or conventions; respectable, especially excessively so:her parents' view of what was proper for a well-bred girl a very prim and proper Swiss lady 3
) belonging or relating exclusively or distinctively to; particular to:the two elephant types proper to Africa and to southern Asia
(of a psalm, lesson, prayer, etc.) appointed for a particular day, occasion, or season. archaic belonging to oneself or itself; own:to judge with my proper eyes 4 [usually postpositive] Heraldry in the natural colours. 5 archaic
or dialect (of a person) good-looking:he is a proper youth!
6 Mathematics denoting a subset or subgroup that does not constitute the entire set or group, especially one that has more than one element.
satisfactorily or correctly:my eyes were all blurry and I couldn’t see proper thoroughly:he blotted his copybook good and proper
the part of a church service that varies with the season or feast: we go to the High Mass, with plainsong propers sung by the Ritual Choir