Definition of improperly in English:



  • 1In a manner not in accordance with accepted standards, especially of morality or honesty.

    ‘councillors acted improperly in releasing the draft document’
    ‘evidence is inadmissible if it is improperly obtained’
    • ‘Your plan should also provide information on how to appeal if you believe the plan improperly denied a claim for reimbursement.’
    • ‘The auction house has so far resisted suggestions that it acted improperly in selling the painting, which it says it acquired from a reputable Paris dealer after the war.’
    • ‘The company's chief financial officer had boosted company profits by improperly accounting for $3.8bn of expenses.’
    • ‘Although most of us would never touch a child improperly, we must be careful about affectionate hugs or even touching hands or arms without permission.’
    • ‘Lawyers for the investor, who is suing the car maker, alleged the papers had been improperly withheld.’
    • ‘The analyst examines emerging loss trends to determine if the company has improperly insured a peril.’
    • ‘Hundreds of millions of dollars were improperly shifted from the company, primarily to travel businesses controlled by the family.’
    • ‘An improperly titled home can create a world of hurt for you and your heirs.’
    • ‘Two months later, the group revealed a further $3.3bn of improperly reported earnings.’
    • ‘Additional amounts of improperly reported income may be discovered.’
    1. 1.1 In a way that lacks modesty or decency.
      ‘the young woman is improperly attired with a sleeveless, low-necked dress’
      • ‘Seven months ago, a group of men came up to her and warned her that she was improperly dressed.’
      • ‘They fought firefighters to stop them from rescuing the improperly dressed teenagers.’
      • ‘Sexual humiliation has always been the first choice of punishment for women who behaved improperly.’
      • ‘He's polite and does not behave improperly but the sexual message is there.’
      • ‘Even today, you stand a chance of being apprehended for "dressing improperly" - which can mean anything from letting your beer belly hang out, to exposing mottled thighs or pasty midriffs.’
      • ‘If they were at a public pool, even those at their own apartment complexes, members would leave if an outsider showed up improperly dressed.’
      • ‘A journalist said the paper had been given a warning in recent months for printing photographs of women considered to have been improperly dressed.’