im·​pro·​pri·​e·​ty | \ ˌim-p(r)ə-ˈprī-ə-tē How to pronounce impropriety (audio) \
plural improprieties

Definition of impropriety

1 : an improper or indecorous act or remark especially : an unacceptable use of a word or of language
2 : the quality or state of being improper

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Examples of impropriety in a Sentence

He has a reputation for impropriety. The judge excused herself from the case to avoid any appearance of impropriety. She was shocked by the young man's impropriety. She was shocked by the impropriety of his behavior. He has been accused of financial improprieties.
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Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, there have been no claims of impropriety with any of the loans to those companies. Anthony Debarros, WSJ, "PPP Money Abounded—but Some Got It Faster Than Others," 6 Oct. 2020 Aymond this week confirmed the sequence of events and the impropriety of the letters. Ramon Antonio Vargas,, "Man says 2 New Orleans priests abused him; church gave him unlimited therapy but no abuse listing," 5 Oct. 2020 Media reports suggested that she had been accused of workplace impropriety, including displaying lewd pictures of male genitalia to colleagues, but few additional details of misbehavior emerged. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "The Secret History of Kimberly Guilfoyle’s Departure from Fox," 1 Oct. 2020 None of them has ever faced a hint of impropriety with a child. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Save the Children? Extremist conspiracy movement QAnon fabricates pedophile claims against Biden as election looms," 29 Sep. 2020 The firm was founded in part by The Trump campaign’s onetime chief executive, Steve Bannon, and collapsed in 2018 after news reports detailed its improper use of Facebook data in analyzing voters and other allegations of impropriety. Washington Post, "Cambridge Analytica database identified Black voters as ripe for “deterrence,” British broadcaster says," 28 Sep. 2020 There were several such outcomes in 2018, confusing voters accustomed to having a winner declared the night of the election and creating an opening for unfounded charges of impropriety. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s talk of rejecting election result evokes chaos scenarios," 25 Sep. 2020 In discussion before the vote, council members said the investigation did not reveal evidence of impropriety in the terms of the deal presented to them. Washington Post, "D.C. Council approves major tax break for Howard University as it launches plan for new hospital," 22 Sep. 2020 Despite the charges of financial impropriety leveled against him, many will see the verdict as the stark silencing of a prominent critic, rather than the punishment of corruption. Jane Li, Quartz, "China’s jailing of an outspoken property tycoon is a warning to its elites: Stay quiet," 22 Sep. 2020

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

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First Known Use of impropriety

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for impropriety

French or Late Latin; French impropriété, from Late Latin improprietat-, improprietas, from Latin improprius

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Time Traveler for impropriety

Time Traveler

The first known use of impropriety was in 1607

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Statistics for impropriety

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Impropriety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for impropriety


How to pronounce impropriety (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of impropriety

: rude or immoral behavior : improper behavior
: a rude or improper quality
: a wrong or immoral act : an improper act

More from Merriam-Webster on impropriety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impropriety

Nglish: Translation of impropriety for Spanish Speakers

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