prop·​er·​ly ˈprä-pər-lē How to pronounce properly (audio)
: in a proper manner:
: 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
: 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

Examples of properly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The safest car seat is the one parents and caregivers can use properly. Jessica Booth, Parents, 14 Feb. 2024 Your firm will become dependent on the vendor maintaining a high-quality generative AI solution that keeps pace with the cutting edge and can properly integrate with all aspects of your firm’s tech stack (e.g., product marketing, planning tools, etc.). Grant Easterbrook, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The choreographer-turned-director fails to find the right rhythms to properly pace the picture. Courtney Howard, Variety, 14 Feb. 2024 At the same time, Tesla user manuals cite a long list of conditions under which Full Self-Driving may not function properly, including narrow roads with oncoming cars and curvy roads. Talia Trackim, Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2024 Sanderson, 16, was born with spina bifida, a congenital birth defect in which the spinal cord fails to form properly. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 13 Feb. 2024 To properly evaluate handling dynamics, lead-follow exercises orchestrated by our professional instructors from Radius Drive allowed judges to experience each car’s performance capabilities in a closed-course setting. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 Feb. 2024 Pathogens: These are the bad guys, like Salmonella and E. coli, that can cause foodborne illness if milk isn’t handled properly. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 12 Feb. 2024 Tesla agreed to take steps to properly manage hazardous wastes at its factory, to buy $55,000 in emergency response equipment for the City of Fremont Fire Department, and pay a $31,000 penalty. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'properly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of properly was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near properly

Cite this Entry

“Properly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: in a fit or suitable way
behave properly in church
: according to fact : correctly
properly labeled goods
properly speaking, whales are not fish

More from Merriam-Webster on properly

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