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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Weidner still wonders if the same slides presented to the committee were referred to the ethics board, or whether city officials added different materials which would support their claim of impropriety. Bruce Vielmetti, Journal Sentinel, 22 Aug. 2022 But, because the perception of impropriety can be so damaging to the political order, the occupants of positions of power have a special obligation to tread lightly when dealing with their ideological opponents. The Editors, National Review, 10 Aug. 2022 Yet the whispers of impropriety on William’s part have long lingered in the media, with the DeuxMoi blind item only fueling speculation. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 5 Aug. 2022 And so Birgitte complies with the ambassador’s request; when her deception is later uncovered, she is predictably dogged by accusations of impropriety. Kylie Warner, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2022 And this bill will provide the administrative framework to ensure that state contracts and purchases are conducted fairly, cost-effectively and without any inference or evidence of impropriety. Globe Staff,, 7 July 2022 In a recent news release, Lt. Gen. Sebastian Ndeitunga, the head of the Namibian police, sought to temper any suggestion of impropriety. New York Times, 22 June 2022 But the impropriety of such advisory opinions, at any time, is one of the cardinal norms of limitation on the Supreme Court’s authority. Matthew J. Franck, National Review, 12 Sep. 2021 One aristocrat wrote a scathing invective about the impropriety of Wroth’s work. V.m. Braganza, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of impropriety was in 1607

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Last Updated

25 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Impropriety.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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