im·​prop·​er | \ (ˌ)im-ˈprä-pər How to pronounce improper (audio) \

Definition of improper

: not proper: such as
a : not in accord with propriety, modesty, good manners, or good taste improper language
b : not suited to the circumstances, design, or end improper medicine
c : not regularly or normally formed or not properly so called
d : not in accord with fact, truth, or right procedure : incorrect improper inference

Other Words from improper

improperly adverb
improperness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for improper

indecorous, improper, unseemly, unbecoming, indelicate mean not conforming to what is accepted as right, fitting, or in good taste. indecorous suggests a violation of accepted standards of good manners. indecorous behavior improper applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or prescribed method. improper use of campaign contributions unseemly adds a suggestion of special inappropriateness to a situation or an offensiveness to good taste. remarried with unseemly haste unbecoming suggests behavior or language that does not suit one's character or status. conduct unbecoming to an officer indelicate implies a lack of modesty or of tact or of refined perception of feeling. indelicate expressions for bodily functions

Examples of improper in a Sentence

The doctor gave him an improper diagnosis. They claim to have evidence of improper police conduct. improper use of public land This is an improper diet for a growing teenager. It would be improper for me to ask such a favor of her. He made some improper remarks. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Norberto Cisneros, 20, of the 200 block of Roberto Avenue, Northlake, was charged at 2:52 a.m. May 29 at 47th Street and DuBois Avenue with driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to signal, disobeying a stop sign, and improper lane usage. Hank Beckman, Chicago Tribune, 3 June 2022 He was charged with DUI-alcohol and improper lane usage and transported to the Morgan County Jail, where he was released on bond. William Thornton |, al, 25 May 2022 Conviction for improper storage of weapons carries a fine of between $1,000 and $7,500, and imprisonment for up to 1.5 years. Globe Staff,, 6 May 2022 Horses may become accustomed to getting fed willingly by visitors and may also come to depend on improper storage techniques. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 Officials gave extensions for violations dealing with the improper storage of raw food. Garfield Hylton, Orlando Sentinel, 19 Apr. 2022 Fernando Brito De La Cruz, 35, of the 200 block of East Pine Avenue, Bensenville, was charged with driving under the influence, endangering the life of a child and improper lane use at 1:56 a.m. April 2. Graydon Megan,, 11 Apr. 2022 In May, the fire protection district inspected the Carson warehouse and cited Day to Day again with improper storage of hazardous materials including essential oils and hand sanitizer. Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2022 Officials revisited the restaurant on the same day and found three violations, one of which was a high priority for improper food storage. Garfield Hylton,, 10 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'improper.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of improper

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for improper

Middle English, from Middle French impropre, from Latin improprius, from in- + proprius proper

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Time Traveler for improper

Time Traveler

The first known use of improper was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near improper



improper diphthong

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Statistics for improper

Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Improper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for improper


im·​prop·​er | \ im-ˈprä-pər How to pronounce improper (audio) \

Kids Definition of improper

: not proper, right, or suitable He used improper grammar.

Other Words from improper

improperly adverb



Legal Definition of improper

: not proper: as
a : not in accord with correct procedure an improper venue
b : wrongful specifically : in violation of a constitution the denial of trial by jury was held improper

Other Words from improper

improperly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on improper

Nglish: Translation of improper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of improper for Arabic Speakers


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