Proper noun
Proper Prop"er, a. [OE. propre, F. propre, fr. L. proprius. Cf. {Appropriate}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Belonging to one; one's own; individual. ``His proper good'' [i. e., his own possessions]. --Chaucer. ``My proper son.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Now learn the difference, at your proper cost, Betwixt true valor and an empty boast. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Belonging to the natural or essential constitution; peculiar; not common; particular; as, every animal has his proper instincts and appetites. [1913 Webster]

Those high and peculiar attributes . . . which constitute our proper humanity. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

3. Befitting one's nature, qualities, etc.; suitable in all respect; appropriate; right; fit; decent; as, water is the proper element for fish; a proper dress. [1913 Webster]

The proper study of mankind is man. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

In Athens all was pleasure, mirth, and play, All proper to the spring, and sprightly May. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Becoming in appearance; well formed; handsome. [Archaic] ``Thou art a proper man.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Moses . . . was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child. --Heb. xi. 23. [1913 Webster]

5. Pertaining to one of a species, but not common to the whole; not appellative; -- opposed to {common}; as, a proper name; Dublin is the proper name of a city. [1913 Webster]

6. Rightly so called; strictly considered; as, Greece proper; the garden proper. [1913 Webster]

7. (Her.) Represented in its natural color; -- said of any object used as a charge. [1913 Webster]

{In proper}, individually; privately. [Obs.] --Jer. Taylor.

{Proper flower} or {Proper corolla} (Bot.), one of the single florets, or corollets, in an aggregate or compound flower.

{Proper fraction} (Arith.) a fraction in which the numerator is less than the denominator.

{Proper nectary} (Bot.), a nectary separate from the petals and other parts of the flower. -- {Proper noun} (Gram.), a name belonging to an individual, by which it is distinguished from others of the same class; -- opposed to {common noun}; as, John, Boston, America.

{Proper perianth} or {Proper involucre} (Bot.), that which incloses only a single flower.

{Proper receptacle} (Bot.), a receptacle which supports only a single flower or fructification. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • proper noun — proper nouns also proper name N COUNT A proper noun is the name of a particular person, place, organization, or thing. Proper nouns begin with a capital letter. Examples are Margaret , London , and the United Nations . Compare common noun …   English dictionary

  • proper noun — noun count a noun that names a particular person, place, or thing and begins with a CAPITAL letter. Jane, Africa, and New Year are proper nouns. ─ compare COMMON NOUN …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • proper noun — also .proper name especially BrE n a noun such as James , New York , or China that is the name of one particular thing and is written with a ↑capital letter →↑noun …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • proper noun — (also proper name) ► NOUN ▪ a name for an individual person, place, or organization, having an initial capital letter …   English terms dictionary

  • proper noun — see noun …   Modern English usage

  • proper noun — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms proper noun : singular proper noun plural proper nouns linguistics a noun that names a particular person, place, or thing and begins with a capital letter. Jane , Africa , and New Year are proper nouns. • See:… …   English dictionary

  • proper noun — noun A noun denoting a particular person, place, organization, ship, animal, event, or other individual entity. Examples: Mike, United Nations …   Wiktionary

  • proper noun — noun Date: circa 1890 a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English called also proper name …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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