Definition of properly in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpräpərlē/


1Correctly or satisfactorily: ensuring the work is carried out properly a properly drafted agreement
More example sentences
  • I need a keeper, someone who can make me nice meals and make sure I eat properly.
  • I got better because someone before me taught me how to eat properly.
  • I haven't eaten properly for a few days and my sleeping has been erratic.
1.1Appropriately for the circumstances; suitably; respectably: I’m trying to get my mother to behave properly
More example sentences
  • They were behaving more properly, more respectably, than middle-class people at a funeral.
  • Not knowing what to expect, I decided to dress properly and make a very good first impression.
  • You are never going to convert hard-line extremists by behaving properly, David concedes.
1.2 [sentence adverb] In the strict sense; exactly: algebra is, properly speaking, the analysis of equations
More example sentences
  • The drive properly speaking, in the only sense faithful to Freud's discovery, is sexuality.
2 [usually as submodifier] informal, chiefly British Thoroughly; completely: this is the first day she has felt properly well
More example sentences
  • The learned District Judge failed to take that fully and properly into account when she considered her order.
  • Nor, I suggest, are we in this court in a position to explore it properly.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prop·er·ly

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.