Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective improper differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of improper are indecorous, indelicate, unbecoming, and unseemly. While all these words mean "not conforming to what is accepted as right, fitting, or in good taste," improper applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or prescribed method.

improper use of campaign contributions

When would indecorous be a good substitute for improper?

The synonyms indecorous and improper are sometimes interchangeable, but indecorous suggests a violation of accepted standards of good manners.

indecorous behavior

When is indelicate a more appropriate choice than improper?

The words indelicate and improper can be used in similar contexts, but indelicate implies a lack of modesty or of tact or of refined perception of feeling.

indelicate expressions for bodily functions

In what contexts can unbecoming take the place of improper?

While in some cases nearly identical to improper, unbecoming suggests behavior or language that does not suit one's character or status.

conduct unbecoming to an officer

When could unseemly be used to replace improper?

The words unseemly and improper are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, unseemly adds a suggestion of special inappropriateness to a situation or an offensiveness to good taste.

remarried with unseemly haste

Thesaurus Entries Near improper

Cite this Entry

“Improper.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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