im·​pro·​pri·​e·​ty | \ˌim-p(r)ə-ˈprī-ə-tē \
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

Tesla provided a copy of a two-page formal response to Staples' allegations, which concluded that there were no improprieties. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Ex-SolarCity employees: We were fired after reporting millions in fake sales," 31 July 2018 The Justice Department has, in reaction, asked its inspector general to examine if there was any impropriety in how the FBI dealt with the Trump campaign. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump tweets James Clapper admitted to spying on his presidential campaign. He didn’t.," 24 May 2018 Counter Probe The Justice Department, on President Trump’s order, asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of the president’s election campaign. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 21 May 2018 The Justice Department responded quickly, saying its inspector general would expand its review into whether there was any impropriety., "Today: Demand and Reply," 21 May 2018 Now, who knows — maybe there was some as-yet-unrevealed impropriety in the FBI’s relationship with Christopher Steele, and/or the agency’s use of his research. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "4 GOP Senators Call for Second Special Counsel to Investigate FBI," 15 Mar. 2018 The conviction was later overturned on the grounds of defects in the jury deliberations and improprieties by the prosecutor in his closing argument. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Kathy Shaw, Watchdog on Clergy Sexual Abuse, Dies at 72," 26 June 2018 The club has faced accusations of impropriety regarding the use of the fields, but Gemmell said those claims are false. Marialuisa Rincon, Houston Chronicle, "Soccer field access creates dispute in The Woodlands," 20 June 2018 Kelly's long history of accusations of impropriety with young women date back to 1994, when the singer was 27 years old and reportedly married his 15-year-old protegee, singer Aaliyah. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "R. Kelly sued for alleged sexual assault," 22 May 2018

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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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for impropriety

The first known use of impropriety was in 1607

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on impropriety

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with impropriety

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for impropriety

Spanish Central: Translation of impropriety

Nglish: Translation of impropriety for Spanish Speakers

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a nest or breeding place

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