Definition of properly in US English:



  • 1Correctly or satisfactorily.

    ‘ensuring the work is carried out properly’
    ‘a properly drafted agreement’
    • ‘I need a keeper, someone who can make me nice meals and make sure I eat properly.’
    • ‘A First Aid course will teach you how to carry out resuscitation properly.’
    • ‘Firstly, we do need to have a thorough and properly organised constitutional review.’
    • ‘My position is properly described as left-wing because I favour revolutionary change.’
    • ‘However, some errors are difficult to correct, even when properly identified.’
    • ‘What is the point of speaking if you are not going to be heard properly, literally or otherwise?’
    • ‘Tank corps and air force units had not been fully deployed or concentrated properly.’
    • ‘But the number of cases that properly fall in either category is exceptionally small.’
    • ‘The railway bridge was highlighted as one of the jobs not completed properly.’
    • ‘I haven't eaten properly for a few days and my sleeping has been erratic.’
    • ‘His parachute training had helped him develop the skills he needed to position himself properly.’
    • ‘I got better because someone before me taught me how to eat properly.’
    • ‘She pleaded with other women not to get into a car unless they are absolutely positive it is properly registered.’
    • ‘Many also fall behind at school because they are too tired or too distracted to complete homework properly.’
    • ‘If this is going to be done properly the correct omens should be in place.’
    • ‘If out mushroom picking, make sure you identify your finds properly before cooking and eating.’
    • ‘Worse, there is a growing belief that they might be too complex to work properly.’
    • ‘Minutes are disappearing simply because I'm entirely unable to function properly.’
    • ‘Most permanent teeth grow just underneath the milk teeth, and this helps them to be positioned properly.’
    • ‘He said more than half the new application forms filled in at the start of the year were not completed properly and had to be returned.’
    correctly, rightly, right, all right
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    1. 1.1 Appropriately for the circumstances; suitably or respectably.
      ‘I'm trying to get my mother to behave properly’
      • ‘Also, place them in suitable holders and make sure they are properly put out.’
      • ‘Others argue that belief in an afterlife is necessary to make us behave properly in this one.’
      • ‘No one does this properly anymore, at least not without some overbearing sense of irony.’
      • ‘Every minute seemed to last an hour and she couldn't have eaten her dinner properly if she'd tried.’
      • ‘It empowered societies to demand from their governments that they behave properly.’
      • ‘If you must do this stuff, put the effort in and do it properly and respectfully.’
      • ‘The ads poke fun at the problem parents, not at the ones who behave properly at their kids' games.’
      • ‘Not knowing what to expect, I decided to dress properly and make a very good first impression.’
      • ‘They were behaving more properly, more respectably, than middle-class people at a funeral.’
      • ‘I couldn't eat properly since holding a knife and fork was so alien and almost painful to me.’
      • ‘I figured if something were going to happen to me, I wanted to at least be dressed properly.’
      • ‘Keep your wits about you, behave properly and do as you would in your own country.’
      • ‘If you felt you had some good points to make, you could have dressed them properly and not resorted to cheap journalism.’
      • ‘Dead man or no dead man, she must be at her interview tomorrow and she must be properly dressed.’
      • ‘On such trips, my partner launched a campaign to make me dress properly.’
      • ‘A senior officer insisted the force had adequate procedures to ensure officers behaved properly.’
      • ‘In my judgment she acted entirely properly in taking every step to protect her source.’
      • ‘There is nothing wrong in being presentable and behaving properly where we are required to.’
      • ‘You are never going to convert hard-line extremists by behaving properly, David concedes.’
      • ‘I don't think there's anybody who feels we've behaved properly in this at all.’
      appropriately, correspondingly, suitably, fitly, duly, consistently, properly, correctly
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  • 2sentence adverb In the strict sense; exactly.

    ‘algebra is, properly speaking, the analysis of equations’
    • ‘The drive properly speaking, in the only sense faithful to Freud's discovery, is sexuality.’
  • 3British informal usually as submodifier Thoroughly; completely.

    ‘this is the first day she has felt properly well’
    • ‘Nor, I suggest, are we in this court in a position to explore it properly.’
    • ‘The learned District Judge failed to take that fully and properly into account when she considered her order.’
    in every respect, to the core
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