properly

adverb prop·er·ly \ ˈprä-pər-lē \
|Updated on: 12 Jun 2018

Definition of properly

: in a proper manner:
a : in an acceptable or suitable way
  • behaving properly
  • trying to get the system to work properly
  • "Oh yes, I am not at all ashamed of it. I would have everybody marry if they can do it properly."
  • —Jane Austen
b : in an accurate or correct way
  • It might more properly be termed a musical device than a musical form.
  • —Aaron Copland
  • Scoop out the seeds (properly called arils, a botanical term that includes the tiny actual seeds and the juicy, edible pulp around them).
  • —David Karp

First Known Use of properly

13th century

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

PROPERLY Defined for Kids

properly

adverb prop·er·ly \ ˈprä-pər-lē \

Definition of properly for Students

1 : in a fit or suitable way
  • Students should dress properly.
2 : according to fact
  • Properly speaking, whales are not fish.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up properly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to hasten

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Test Your Emoji Exceptionalism

  • test-your-emoji-exceptionalism-written-with-a-lot-of-emoji
  • What is this emoji intended to represent: 🤳
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!