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Improper   /ɪmprˈɑpər/   Listen
Improper

adjective
1.
Not suitable or right or appropriate.  "Improper medication" , "Improper attire for the golf course"
2.
Not conforming to legality, moral law, or social convention.  Synonyms: unconventional, unlawful.  "Improper banking practices"
3.
Not appropriate for a purpose or occasion.  Synonym: wrong.



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"Improper" Quotes from Famous Books



... taken, in the selection, to admit no song that contained, in the slightest degree, any indelicate or improper allusions; and with great propriety it may claim the title of "The Parlour Song-Book, or ...
— Aunt Phillis's Cabin - Or, Southern Life As It Is • Mary H. Eastman

... and yet it is difficult. Sometimes, in doing what we think proper, we get into irremediable scrapes; and often, what we hold to be proper, society in its caprice resolves to be highly improper. ...
— Lothair • Benjamin Disraeli

... and the disinfecting with steaming vinegar, the pumping in of fresh air, and the airing of the bedding on decks: all this belonged to the general health regimen, yet the effect of the restrained, often unnatural physical exercises, and improper food, was not to be suppressed. While to many a Hessian the ship became his first cradle, without granting unto him in its hasty course a place which he could call his birthplace, there were others, who, deceased, were buried at the bottom of the sea, the ...
— The Voyage of The First Hessian Army from Portsmouth to New York, 1776 • Albert Pfister

... I am persuaded you speak like a Native if not better for you were always quick and clever though immensely difficult no doubt, I am sure the tea chests alone would kill me if I tried, such changes Arthur—I am doing it again, seems so natural, most improper—as no one could have believed, who could have ever imagined Mrs Finching when ...
— Little Dorrit • Charles Dickens

... and captious; but was explained by subsequent disclosures. A clever barrister, who secretly advised the accused and framed his defence, went into the judge's room, before the sitting of the court, and in conversing with Montagu intimated the very improper course Lewis intended to take. Montagu replied, he would certainly fine him. It was under these suspicions, that he began the trial: he was thrown off his guard, and the prosecution involved in an irreparable mistake. When the court sat to sentence the accused, the lawyer was there ...
— The History of Tasmania, Volume I (of 2) • John West

... on you as I could," he told the young driver. "You're charged with improper use of the thruway. That's a minor violation. By rights, I should have cited you for illegal usage." He looked around slowly at each of the young people. "You look like nice kids," he said. "I think you'll grow up to be nice people. ...
— Code Three • Rick Raphael

... to his own statement; namely, that of converting his heart, which, he says, had been frivolous and inclined to gallantry, and even to licentiousness, until he received our poet's advice. He was about forty-five years old when he went to Milan. Petrarch made him sensible that it was improper, at his age, to lose his time in courting women; that he ought to employ it more seriously, and turn towards heaven, the devotion which he misplaced on earthly beauties. This conversation is the subject ...
— The Sonnets, Triumphs, and Other Poems of Petrarch • Petrarch

... the Borough a very improper place for the king's, or any other, college?—Is it not the very mart of trade, and consequently ever noisy and in confusion?—And what a magnificent improvement would its erection near Westminster Abbey be to that ancient and very sumptuous pile. Could it not be erected from Tothill Street, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, - Volume 12, No. 329, Saturday, August 30, 1828 • Various

... are those horrid improper-looking gods and goddesses in clouds and chariots on the ceilings at Belforest," observed that lady, in a half-puzzled, half-offended tone of voice, that most perilously tickled the fancy of Mother Carey and ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... small cottage, by way of lodge, or laborer's tenement, should be located at or near the entrance. Such appendage is not only ornamental in itself, but gives character to the place, and security to the enclosure; in guarding it from improper intrusion, as well as to receive and conduct into the premises those who either reside upon, or have business within it. It is thus a sort of sentry-box, as well as a ...
— Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings • Lewis Falley Allen

... leaders. We have made Cathelineau our General, and desired him to select his officers, and when he selects you as one, you object. If you object from a proper modesty, it argues that those who accept, shew an improper degree of assurance. You should ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... seventh, or almost to the eighth month. The symptoms of the approach of abortion, unless the breeder is very much among his stock, are not often perceived; or, if perceived, they are concealed by the person in charge, lest he should be accused of neglect or improper treatment. ...
— Cattle and Their Diseases • Robert Jennings

... of the ship, reinforced by the great silent stillness of the world, said to himself that there was something mysterious in such beings as the absurd Franklin, and even in such beings as himself. It was a strange and almost improper thought to occur to the officer of the watch of a ship on the high seas on no matter how quiet a night. Why on earth was he bothering his head? Why couldn't he dismiss all these people from his mind? It was as if the mate had infected him with his own diseased ...
— Chance • Joseph Conrad

... country adjoining this lake was fertile, and by means of it, and natural or artificial channels, there was a communication with the Delta and Upper Egypt. Between this lake and the Canopic branch of the Nile, Alexander built his city: to less sagacious minds this site would have appeared improper and injudicious in some respects; for the sea-coast from Pelusium to Canopus is low land, not visible at a distance; the navigation along this coast, and the approach to it, is dangerous, and the entrance into the mouths of the Nile, at some seasons, is extremely ...
— Robert Kerr's General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 18 • William Stevenson

... clutching at the railings of the arena. She was promptly removed by the police. Under the circumstances the woman's conduct was pardonable, perhaps, but we suggest that such exhibitions interfere with the decorum which should be preserved during the performances, and are highly improper in the presence of the Emperor. The Parthian prisoner fought bravely and well; and well he might, for he was fighting for both life and liberty. His wife and children were there to nerve his arm with their love, and to remind him of the old home ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... ought to have been pretty to fit her pretty name, Juana de Espinosa. Besides, De Cotes caroused miscellaneously, he ran the streets at night, in bad company, and singing bad songs. In 1591 he was officially reproved for these habits, and for singing improper words to sacred music (y cantan muchos rezes letras ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 1 • Rupert Hughes

... nervous prostration sure! Yet, I know it is very effective! It was just like some picture you read about, and it was beautiful, striking, down to the smallest detail. But situations effective, and details pleasing, are not in my line, and they are just as much a mystery as improper fractions used to be when I was a schoolgirl. I hated my school! It was called a "Young Ladies' Seminary." It was a fashionable, intellectual hot-house, where premature, fleeting blooms were cultivated regardless of any future consequence. ...
— The Inner Sisterhood - A Social Study in High Colors • Douglass Sherley et al.

... when treating on the subject of repentance, said, "My dear hearers, you must repent; if you do not, you will go to a place which it would be improper to mention ...
— Scientific American magazine, Vol. 2 Issue 1 • Various

... with your mother, sister or best girl and some one passes a slighting remark or uses improper language, won't you be ashamed if you can't take her part? Well, ...
— Babbitt • Sinclair Lewis

... most pressing problems to come to light in the past four years has been improper hazardous waste disposal. The Administration has moved on three fronts. First, we proposed the Oil Hazardous Substances and Hazardous Waste Response, Liability and Compensation Act (the Superfund bill) to provide comprehensive authority and $1.6 billion ...
— Complete State of the Union Addresses from 1790 to the Present • Various

... said the colonel thoughtfully, and bit his lip. The arguments of Lieutenant D'Hubert, helped by his liking for the person, had convinced him. Yet it was highly improper that his intervention, of which he had made no secret, should produce no visible effect. He kept Lieutenant D'Hubert a little longer and ...
— The Point Of Honor - A Military Tale • Joseph Conrad

... arose and backed himself away from the golden throne, for it would have been very improper for him to turn his coat-tails ...
— A Chinese Wonder Book • Norman Hinsdale Pitman

... doctor of the Aristotelian school. He maintained that it was improper to speak of the "form of a hat," because form "est la disposition ext['e]rieure des corps qui sont anim['e]s," and therefore we should say the "figure of a hat," because figure "est la disposition ext['e]rieure des corps qui ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3 • E. Cobham Brewer

... "I don't have to play chaperon for you two. Every one knows she is visiting us; what's there improper in your taking her out to supper? Why"—regarding him critically—"she's young ...
— The Red Seal • Natalie Sumner Lincoln

... and impatient. A very contradictory and improper condition to remain in. I can read to him at once, after I have seen if mamma ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... did little to relieve Jim's bewilderment, who still thought it a very improper thing to receive money from a woman. He did not examine himself far enough to learn that Benedict's independence of his own care and provision was partly the cause of his pain. Five hundred dollars in the woods was ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... arguments like these? He would have said, "Sir, I acknowledge that the people were never more free than under your government. I acknowledge that those who talk of restoring the old Constitution of England use an improper expression. I acknowledge that there has been a constant improvement during those very years during which many persons imagine that there has been a constant deterioration. But, though there has been no change in the government for the worse, there has been a change ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4) - Lord Macaulay's Speeches • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... away his legs he buys either fins or wings with them; this is a generally-understood law, invariably respected. But the snake goes in for extravagance in ribs and vertebrae; an eccentric, rakish, and improper proceeding; part of an irregular and raffish life. Nothing can carry within it affection, or even respect, for an animal whose tail begins nowhere in particular, unless it is at the neck; even if any creature ...
— The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 28, April 1893 - An Illustrated Monthly • Various

... Well, she wore my jewels and one of my dresses at a rather improper ball with her young man; and ...
— The Inca of Perusalem • George Bernard Shaw

... to meet with such an opinion as this, in a book inscribed to yourself, who have so clearly explained the great mischief of such a situation, in your excellent treatise on the diseases of the army. On this account, I have thought it not improper, to address to you the following observations and experiments, which I think clearly demonstrate the fallacy of Dr. Alexander's reasoning, indisputably establish your doctrine, and indeed justify the apprehensions of all mankind ...
— Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air • Joseph Priestley

... see no objection to this, it is, I think, high time that you should write an official letter, stating all the circumstances of the situation, and that your intention is, unless you should be informed that it appears to His Majesty's servants to be improper, &c., to meet the Parliament on the 20th, for the purpose which ...
— Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, Volume 2 (of 2) - From the Original Family Documents • The Duke of Buckingham

... below the ribs on the right side, and around backward and upward as far as to the spine. The positive pole repels the excess of electro-vitality away from the positive spleen, and so reduces the improper excitement there, while at the same time it rushes, by attraction, to the negative liver, under the negative pole, and makes that more positive, and so more active. In this way, I change the polarization of the parts, and, in so ...
— A Newly Discovered System of Electrical Medication • Daniel Clark

... incivility. Doing such a thing, makes one lose confidence in him who has done it, as one cannot tell what he may do next.' His extraordinary warmth confounded me so much, that I justified myself but lamely to him; yet my intentions were not improper. I wished to get on, to see how we were to be lodged, and how we were to get a boat; all which I thought I could best settle myself, without his having any trouble. To apply his great mind to minute particulars, ...
— The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D. • James Boswell

... made. But it does not seem to me to be necessary to set down the names of the seventy [two] elders who were sent by Eleazar, and carried the law, which yet were subjoined at the end of the epistle. However, I thought it not improper to give an account of those very valuable and artificially contrived vessels which the king sent to God, that all may see how great a regard the king had for God; for the king allowed a vast deal of expenses for these vessels, and came often to the workmen, and viewed their works, and suffered ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... put forward in a sermon preached before the University certain theses which, looking at the state of the times, may have been improper and possibly of seditious intent. One of them was that the bishop might excommunicate the civil magistrate: this proposition the clerical body could not approve, and designated it by the term erronea,[160] the mildest going. But Knight ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II) • Augustus De Morgan

... here, let not my fair countrywomen condemn me as an unmannerly satirist; we respect the taste and understanding, as much as we admire {33}the beauty and delicacy of the sex; but surely no woman of sense would suppose we meant to offend her, if we said she was the most improper person in the world to be made a captain of horse, or a ...
— A Lecture On Heads • Geo. Alex. Stevens

... Allen Kimball. A young miss of sixteen summers, she had come to my studio, 212 Eleventh street, with her mother one afternoon in 1903. I found a voice and a personality that could not be overlooked in one so young. Her notes were pure and limpid, untouched by improper use or bad training. I gladly enrolled her among my singers and she began at once with her vocal instruction. She sang with marked progress for four months when there was a break in the regularity of her lessons. She had entered the Oakland High school ...
— Sixty Years of California Song • Margaret Blake-Alverson

... that they can be distinguished. In late years, natural butternut has become popular as an interior finish and for furniture, being sold as "blonde walnut," "French walnut," or "white walnut," in my opinion very improper names. I see no reason for calling it by other than its own. Depletion of forests of butternut trees brings its lumber value up in price nearly to that of fine maple or birch, approaching that of black ...
— Growing Nuts in the North • Carl Weschcke

... of an irresponsible GHOST—that his father has been murdered by the GHOST'S brother? We all know that he devotes himself to the duties of a private detective; that he drives his sweetheart crazy by using very improper language to her, and by coolly denying that he had ever had any serious intentions toward her. Then he gets up the worst specimen of private theatricals that even a royal drawing-room ever witnessed,—a performance so hopelessly stupid as to actually make the KING and his consort seriously ...
— Punchinello, Vol. II., No. 39., Saturday, December 24, 1870. • Various

... not, but I consider it shameful and dishonorable for me, a Baccalaureus Philosophiae, to repudiate what I have publicly maintained, and to do anything that is improper for one of my order. My duty is to see to it that ne quid detrimenti ...
— Comedies • Ludvig Holberg

... amused herself in Lotty's room, or, when that was engaged, made herself comfortable with Mrs. Ledward's family, with one or other of whom she generally passed the night. She heard no bad language, saw nothing improper, listened to no worse conversation than any of the other children at Miss Rutherford's. Even at her present age of ten it never occurred to her to inquire how her mother supported herself. The charges ...
— The Unclassed • George Gissing

... of perfection in the work he undertakes may fail in it; he that has not, must: and yet he will be vain. For every little degree of beauty, how short or improper soever, will be looked on fondly by him; because it is all pure gains, and more than he promised to himself; and because he has no test, or standard in his judgment, with which to chastise ...
— The Poetical Works of Edward Young, Volume 2 • Edward Young

... pages on which I had spent so much labour and walked slowly out of the room. I was too surprised to say anything more, and I did not even feel like banging the door. The only thought which occurred to me was that there must have been something very improper in that cherished sentence, but if my tutor imagined that I took any pleasure in indecencies, or would write them consciously, I felt that he was a very silly man. I stopped on the stairs and began reading my essay again; there was simply nothing in the beginning of it which could offend the most ...
— Godfrey Marten, Undergraduate • Charles Turley

... reader may have noticed scores of these plates in glasses labelled Os Sepiae. Reduced to powder, they were formerly used as an absorbent, but they are now chiefly sought after for the purpose of polishing the softer metals. It is however improper to call this plate bone, since, in composition, "it is exactly similar to shell, and consists of various membranes, hardened by carbonate of lime, (the principal material of shell,) without the smallest mixture of phosphate of lime,[13] or the ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Volume 20, No. 562, Saturday, August 18, 1832. • Various

... less strenuous would do," he said, mischievously—"a pretty amourette?—just one of those gay, frivolous, Louis XV affairs with some daintily receptive girl, not really improper, but only ultra fashionable. Do you think that would ...
— The Common Law • Robert W. Chambers

... be improper to observe that these stanzas were composed during a period of misfortune ...
— Zophiel - A Poem • Maria Gowen Brooks

... dependent upon them. The blind have been made to see and the lame to walk. So many apply for admission that there is always a waiting list. Many lives have been saved in the children's ward by taking in babies who have become sick from improper or insufficient food due to ignorance or poverty. Tuberculosis of bones fend joints is common and many little sufferers have been restored to ...
— Home Missions In Action • Edith H. Allen

... Commander-in-chief, as mentioned above—one fighting and manoeuvring on paper—making plans in his office, unfamiliar with every thing constituting a genuine military, scientific or practical soldier—to whom field and battle are uncongenial or improper—to whom grand and even small tactics are a terra incognita—such a chief is at best but an imitation of the English military organization, and certainly it is only in this country that obsolete English ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... blue and swift as its traditions demanded, kept us close company much of the way; the whole range of country was made for summer, and the wintry conditions under which we saw it seemed all the more improper. It must have been near midnight when our train rolled into the station at Marseilles, and my pleasure in "sitting up late" had long ...
— Hawthorne and His Circle • Julian Hawthorne

... improper to close this section, touching child-life, without some special reference to pre-natal care. It has been well said by eminent authorities that a child's "education should begin long before its birth." This to many may seem mysterious or even foolish, according to ...
— Valere Aude - Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration • Louis Dechmann

... sir, this is a very improper time for joking; for my part, I was only speaking as to my own thoughts, when Mr. Elbow Room made remarks, which he ...
— The Fall of British Tyranny - American Liberty Triumphant • John Leacock

... occasioned a relapse, and next day he was dead. I notice that Mr. Otho Paget in his book on Hunting recommends "a little raw fresh meat" for weakly pups, but possibly he would not advocate it for one getting over distemper. I attributed the death of my charges solely to improper feeding, and have since been successful in rearing others by feeding them at first on bread and milk, biscuits and gravy, scraps of cooked vegetables, and when meat has been given, I have taken care to see that it has been cooked. ...
— The Horsewoman - A Practical Guide to Side-Saddle Riding, 2nd. Ed. • Alice M. Hayes

... conversation he told the Doctor he was the second son of a gentleman of good fortune in Hertfordshire; that he had made an improper acquaintance with a kept mistress of a captain of an Indiaman then abroad; that he was within a year of being out of his time, and had been intrusted with cash, drafts, and notes, which he had made free with, to the amount of two hundred pounds. ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... especially the acts for the delivery of fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the discord and commotion now prevailing. This Convention, therefore, in the present perilous juncture, does not deem it improper, respectfully and earnestly to recommend the repeal of those laws to the several States which have enacted them, or such legislative corrections or explanations of them as may prevent their being used or perverted to such ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... of the Primitive Methodist Connexion dates from 1808, and it sprung solely from the custom (introduced by Lorenzo Dow, from America, in the previous year) of holding "camp meetings," which the Wesleyan Conference decided to be "highly improper in England, even if allowable in America, and likely to be productive of considerable mischief," expelling the preachers who conducted them. A new society was the result, and the first service in this town was held in Moor Sreet, in the open air, near to the Public Office, ...
— Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham - A History And Guide Arranged Alphabetically • Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell

... names intimately connected with Pietism in its better days, which it would be improper to pass over. Arnold, the historian of Pietism, and Thomasius, the eminent jurist. They were both alike dangerous to the very cause they sought to befriend. The former, in his History of Churches and Heretics, took ...
— History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology • John F. Hurst

... and got no answer, and Harry told me that he had written over and over again, and at last had enclosed a letter to your aunt, but that she had returned it, saying that she did so at the recommendation of your spiritual adviser, who considered that it would be highly improper for you, who had become a bride of the Church, to receive a letter from ...
— Clara Maynard - The True and the False - A Tale of the Times • W.H.G. Kingston

... This they do merely to denote their character as the followers of Christ; but, when applied to them collectively, it necessarily becomes the name of a denomination. They are sometimes, by their opposers, called Christ-ians; but this pronunciation of the word they universally reject as very improper. ...
— The Book of Religions • John Hayward

... Bob told enough of the story to convince the street-car man that there was nothing improper about the occurrence, and that he succeeded was evidenced by the comment of the conductor, ...
— Bob Chester's Grit - From Ranch to Riches • Frank V. Webster

... IN POINT.—As a fair sample of what game wardens, and the general public, are sometimes compelled to endure through the improper decisions of judges, I will ...
— Our Vanishing Wild Life - Its Extermination and Preservation • William T. Hornaday

... the Twelve, on this occasion, appealed to the suffrages of the Brotherhood, they reserved to themselves the right of confirming the election; and they might, by withholding ordination, have refused to fiat an improper appointment. Happily no such difficulty occurred. In compliance with the instructions addressed to them, the multitude chose seven of their number "whom they set before the apostles, and, when they had prayed, they laid their ...
— The Ancient Church - Its History, Doctrine, Worship, and Constitution • W.D. [William Dool] Killen

... doubtful reputation, and could point them out to her friends, and that made an effect. She spelt her name with a small "d," an apostrophe, and a capital A, and this converted it into d'Avarande. Mme. Davarande was pious. It seemed to her that God was chic. It would have seemed almost as improper to her to have no parish as to have no gloves. She had adopted one of those churches where grand marriages are celebrated, where people with great names are to be met, where the chairs have armorial bearings, where ...
— Rene Mauperin • Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt

... "subscribed under their handes, to depose the President; sayeing they thought him very unworthy to be eyther President or of the Councell, and therefore discharged him of both".[19] They accused him of misappropriating funds, of improper division of the public stores, of being an atheist, of plotting to desert Virginia in the pinnace left at Jamestown by Captain Newport, of combining with the Spaniards for the destruction of the colony. Wingfield, when he returned to England, made a vigorous defense ...
— Virginia under the Stuarts 1607-1688 • Thomas J. Wertenbaker

... take an mile; rob Peter to pay Paul. Adj. wrong, wrongful; bad, too bad; unjust, unfair; inequitable, unequitable^; unequal, partial, one-sided; injurious, tortious [Law]. objectionable; unreasonable, unallowable, unwarrantable, unjustifiable; improper, unfit; unjustified &c 925; illegal &c 964; iniquitous; immoral &c 945. in the wrong, in the wrong box. Adv. wrongly &c adj.. Phr. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... certified by the present King's Reader, acting for the Lord Chamberlain, as void in its general tendency of "anything immoral or otherwise improper for the stage." But let nobody conclude therefore that Mr Redford is a monster, whose policy it is to deprave the theatre. As a matter of fact, both the above stories are strictly in order from the official point of view. The incidents of sex which they contain, ...
— Mrs. Warren's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... define the name. When this can be done without rendering any received assertions inadmissible, the name can be defined in accordance with its received use, which is vulgarly called defining not the name but the thing. What is meant by the improper expression of defining a thing (or rather a class of things—for nobody talks of defining an individual), is to define the name, subject to the condition that it shall denote those things. This, of course, supposes a comparison of the ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... interjected an imprecation, vulgarly called an oath, "if ever I hear one o' you a usin' of sich improper words, I'll break every ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... fantastic tenderness for morality so very sensitive that it is not at all shocked when the immoral things are done, but glows with virtuous indignation when a Christian man speaks out about them? There are plenty of people nowadays who tell us that it is 'indelicate' and 'indecent' and 'improper,' and I do not know how much else, for a Christian teacher or minister to say a word about certain moral scandals. But they do not say anything about the immorality and the indelicacy and the indecency of doing them. Let us have done with that ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... on the point of guessing it, but you know no word that fits this answer, Madame Deschars not being likely to have allowed anything improper. ...
— Analytical Studies • Honore de Balzac

... are now placed at each plate, and it is not improper to take salt with the tip of the knife ...
— The Etiquette of To-day • Edith B. Ordway

... he may be ill-pleased at that. But if I thought there was any chance of evil befalling Cormac in the camp, by all the gods of the east, west, north, and south," cried the prince, carried away by the strength of his feelings into improper and even boastful language, "I would go and demand his liberation, or fight the ...
— The Hot Swamp • R.M. Ballantyne

... to her, but it was the next best. As I had never even heard of the first remedy, and always had the second in the closet, I gave Mrs. Crupp a glass of the second, which (that I might have no suspicion of its being devoted to any improper use) she began to take in ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... say is very wrong, for if I perfectly understand you, you are bringing an infamous accusation against my predecessors. Perhaps you think to palliate my fault thus in my own eyes. I thank you for the intention, but it is an improper course, and the reproach which you try to cast upon the worthy priests who have succeeded one another in this parish, takes away none ...
— The Grip of Desire • Hector France

... breath came in a sudden gulp. He was more than astounded. He was shocked. Was she mad or playing an amazingly improper joke? She had freed him from a cell to lead him to the home of the Inspector of Police, the deadliest enemy the world now held for him. He stopped, and Marette Radisson tugged at his hand, pulling him after her, insisting that he follow. She was clutching ...
— The Valley of Silent Men • James Oliver Curwood

... Progress has not been steady or continuous on account of the prejudices and errors which hindered men from setting to work in the right way. The difficulties in advancing did not arise from things which are not in our power; they were due to the human understanding, which wasted time and labour on improper objects. "In proportion as the errors which have been committed impeded the past, so do they afford reason to hope for ...
— The Idea of Progress - An Inquiry Into Its Origin And Growth • J. B. Bury

... "You've recently," she observed, "got into a new way. Whatever slang you happen to hear outside you come and tell me. And whenever you read any improper book, you poke your fun at me. What! have I ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... giggling. Then what does it all come to? An attempt to expose the supposed hypocrisy of the Puritan middle class in England: people just as good as the author, anyhow. With, of course, the inevitable improper female: the Mrs Tanqueray, Iris, and so forth. Well, if you cant recognize the author of that, youve mistaken your professions: thats all I ...
— Fanny's First Play • George Bernard Shaw

... cast aside the doctrines of men, and go face to face with the Son of Man, the visible God. First lie of all, she had been taught that she must believe so and so before God would let her come near him or listen to her. The old cobbler could have taught her differently; but she would have thought it improper to hold conversation with such a man, even if she had known him for the best man in Auchars. She was in sore and sad earnest to believe as she was told she must believe; therefore instead of beginning ...
— Donal Grant • George MacDonald

... some fifty years ago, boasted of a delicious red-fleshed trout, of large size, which has in these latter times, from netting or some other improper fishing, nearly or quite disappeared from those waters, leaving upon the palates of old anglers the remembrance of a flavor higher and ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 40, February, 1861 • Various

... would be the worst of it; as it is all the world over. Sometimes I wish there were no such things as looks. I don't mean anything improper, you know; only one does get so hampered, right and left, for fear of Mrs Grundy. I endeavour to go straight, and get along pretty well on the whole, I suppose. Baker, you must put Dandy in the bar; he pulls so, going home, that I can't hold him in ...
— Can You Forgive Her? • Anthony Trollope

... pleases without the responsibility of rendering any specific account. The bank is thus converted into a vast electioneering engine, with means to embroil the country in deadly feuds, and, under cover of expenditures in themselves improper, extend its corruption through all the ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 2) of Volume 3: Andrew Jackson (Second Term) • James D. Richardson

... an angry look, "has my child been accustomed to go out without leave, with no other company or protector than that French woman. Pardon me, Madam, I mean no reflections on your country, but I never did like Mademoiselle La Rue; I think she was a very improper person to be entrusted with the care of such a girl as Charlotte Temple, or to be suffered to take her from under ...
— Charlotte Temple • Susanna Rowson

... doubt perceive a great, although unavoidable confusion throughout the whole scene; it presents to the imagination a deep, dark, and dreary chaos; impossible to be reduced to order without the mind of the architect is clear and capacious, and his power commensurate to the occasion." He asked, "What improper influence could a plan reported openly and officially have on the mind of any member, more than if the scheme and information were given privately at the Secretary's office?" Merely to call for information would not be advantageous ...
— Washington and His Colleagues • Henry Jones Ford

... "And a very improper expression too, Sir," said Mr. Hopewell; "a very irreverent, indecent, and I may say profane expression; I am quite shocked. But as you say you didn't mean it, are sorry for it, and will not repeat it again, I accept your apology, and rely on your ...
— The Attache - or, Sam Slick in England, Complete • Thomas Chandler Haliburton

... never have pretended that it was not highly improper to watch one's neighbors. He would have denounced it as deserving of the severest reprobation. But he would have said, that if, while he was sitting, according to his invariable custom, at his own window, for the sole purpose of reading a book, people ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... perusal of The Lamplighter was what I was to achieve at the fleeting hour I continue to circle round; that romance was on every one's lips, and I recollect it as more or less thrust upon me in amends for the imposed sacrifice of a ranker actuality—that of the improper Mr. Robinson, I mean, as to whom there revives in me the main question of where his impropriety, in so general a platitude of the bourgeois, could possibly have dwelt. It was to be true indeed that Walt Whitman ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... be a gentleman with an uncontrollable temper, whose conduct is most improper. I must ask you to behave yourself, to respect the convenances, or I shall be compelled ...
— The Passenger from Calais • Arthur Griffiths

... should catch cold, and then kept them for dinner. After the meal they were allowed to go into the open and play, and to walk about in the house of their grandparents, or do whatever else they cared to, provided it was not improper or forbidden. The dyer, who always ate with them, questioned them about school and impressed upon them what they ought to learn. In the afternoon, they were urged by their grandmother to depart even before it was time, so that they should in no case reach home too late. Although ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VIII • Various

... brought the news home—she had been ill. "Some rare luck," the landlady continued, "will surely follow the knight up to the Blombergs. The same old steep path, leads there; but as to Wawer!—it would be improper to say Jungfrau Barbara—you will surer open your eyes—" Here she was summoned to the kitchen, and Wolf followed his ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... parcel of this same mucous membrane—we can say this is due to one of several causes: either to a reflex condition from the stomach, due to over-eating or over-indulgence of some other equally deleterious sort, or to inactivity of the bowels, or to suppressed perspiration, or to improper or undue ...
— The Voice - Its Production, Care and Preservation • Frank E. Miller

... Old Law the Almighty Himself ordained that lighted chandeliers should adorn the tabernacle.(428) Assuredly, that cannot be improper in the New Dispensation which God sanctioned in ...
— The Faith of Our Fathers • James Cardinal Gibbons

... prefatory letter to Hobbes well expresses this truth. "When I considered the actions which I meant to describe; (those inferring the persons), I was again persuaded rather to choose those of a former age, than the present; and in a century so far removed, as might preserve me from their improper examinations, who know not the requisites of a poem, nor how much pleasure they lose, (and even the pleasures of heroic poesy are not unprofitable), who take away the liberty of a poet, and fetter his feet in the shackles of an historian. ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... authorities. In England, the Public Health Acts and By-laws are carried out by the various borough or district authorities, who appoint inspectors especially to study the health of the public with regard to sanitary arrangements. The inspectors have special powers to deal with all improper or defective food, or with any defects in buildings that may affect ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 4, Part 3 - "Brescia" to "Bulgaria" • Various

... antagonistical to the Spirit. God has created us with a fleshly nature, or made us a fleshly being. He has also created things for the sustenance of this fleshly life. He has created food and drink for man's use. A proper use of these is not a lust of the flesh. An improper use may be considered lust. Our eating and drinking should be to the glory of God. The primary object in our eating should be to sustain life and promote health and strength, that we may be able to labor ...
— The Gospel Day • Charles Ebert Orr

... been taken very seriously, with none of the present matter-of-course haphazardness. In an old Guide to Brighton, dated 1794, I find the following description of the intrepid dippers of that day:—"It may not be improper here to introduce a short account of the manner of bathing in the sea at Brighthelmston. By means of a hook-ladder the bather ascends the machine, which is formed of wood, and raised on high wheels; he is drawn to a proper distance from the shore, ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... practically a witness against Darcy. And I don't, for one moment, wish you to think that I am trying to get advance information to use in his favor. This is simply in the matter of justice, the ends of which I know you wish to serve, as I do myself. So if I ask anything improper please stop me. But since you will testify about these wounds, and since you have already pretty well described them to the newspaper reporters, it can do no harm to repeat ...
— The Diamond Cross Mystery - Being a Somewhat Different Detective Story • Chester K. Steele

... obviously did not belong to this world. He was a young man of twenty-five or so, not handsome, but elegant. Though he was not in evening dress, though he was, as a fact, in a very light grey suit, entirely improper to a dinner, he was elegant. The suit was admirably cut, and nearly new; but he wore it as though he had never worn anything else. Also his demeanour, reserved yet free from self-consciousness, his method ...
— The Old Wives' Tale • Arnold Bennett

... Unity became more and more confused every moment. It all sounded puzzling and improper to her. "Kettles" coming in for tea-leaves, and living in "Anchoranopally." How could Pennie have become familiar with such ...
— Penelope and the Others - Story of Five Country Children • Amy Walton

... his full dress. Even were this a farewell dinner held in his honor, I thought he was under no obligation to look patiently in a formal dress at the naked dance. So I went to him and persuaded him with "Say, Koga-san, let's go home." Hubbard Squash said the dinner was in his honor, and it would be improper for him to leave the room before the guests. He seemed to be ...
— Botchan (Master Darling) • Mr. Kin-nosuke Natsume, trans. by Yasotaro Morri

... effective way of dealing with men who asked troublesome or improper questions. A visitor once asked him how many men the rebels had in the field. The President replied, very seriously, "Twelve hundred thousand, according to the best authority." The interrogator blanched in the face, and ejaculated, "Good heavens!" "Yes, sir, twelve hundred thousand—no doubt ...
— The Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln • Francis Fisher Browne

... in detail to his labours in departments of Science not directly connected with the Royal Observatory may seem to lie beyond the province of the Board. But it cannot be improper to state that its members are not unacquainted with the high estimation in which his contributions to the Theory of Tides, to the undulatory theory of Light, and to various abstract branches of Mathematics are held by men of ...
— Autobiography of Sir George Biddell Airy • George Biddell Airy

... SPECTACLES and EYE-GLASSES for the Assistance of Vision, adapted by means of Smee's Optometer: that being the only correct method of determining the exact focus of the Lenses required, and of preventing injury to the sight by the use of improper Glasses. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 218, December 31, 1853 • Various

... not be difficult to show, were it necessary, that America would soon become a richer and more happy country, provided the step was adopted. That corrosive anguish of persevering in anything improper, which now embitters the enjoyments of life, would vanish as the mist of a foggy morn doth before the rising sun; and we should find as great a disparity between our present situation, and that which would succeed to it, as subsists between a cloudy winter, and a radiant spring.—Besides, our ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... not to be a strongly marked element of the flower of our ballad poetry, there are many of the best of them that have imbedded in them a rich and genuine vein of comic wit or broad fun; and there are also what may be classed as Humorous Ballads proper (or improper as the case may be), which reflect more plainly and frankly, perhaps, than any other department of our literature, the customs, character, and amusements of the commonalty, and have exercised an important influence on the ...
— The Balladists - Famous Scots Series • John Geddie

... Lotbiniere. These summary dismissals and appointments had arisen out of a quarrel between the governor and the bishop, in which the former appears to have been influenced by petty motives. At any rate Mezy had been recalled by the king; and Tracy, Courcelle, and Talon had been instructed to try him for improper conduct in office. But before their arrival at Quebec, Mezy had obeyed the summons of another King than the king of France. He had been taken ill in the spring of the year and had died on May 6. Mezy being dead, it was wisely thought unnecessary to recall unhappy ...
— The Great Intendant - A Chronicle of Jean Talon in Canada 1665-1672 • Thomas Chapais

... speaking this time, and Hilliard soon found he was telling a somewhat improper story. As the two men disappeared round the deckhouse he heard their hoarse laughter ring out. Then the captain cried: "That you, Coburn?" The murmur of voices grew louder and more confused and immediately sank. A door opened, then closed, and once ...
— The Pit Prop Syndicate • Freeman Wills Crofts

... aboveboard, and that our hostility should never be exercised by such petty means. We had no suspicion that he expected to engage men here, but merely to purchase military stores. Against this there was no law, nor, consequently, any authority for us to interpose. On the other hand, we deemed it improper to betray his voluntary communication to the agents of Spain. Although his measures were many days in preparation at New York, we never had the least intimation or suspicion of his engaging men in his enterprise until he was gone; and I presume that the secrecy ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 31, May, 1860 • Various

... was fruitless. I missed my train in Bradford, and stayed the night at an hotel, thus (with appropriate but improper extravagance) concluding this particular performance in the role of travelling courier to a distinguished invalid. As I sat over a sumptuous table d'hote—this was long before the submarine blockade and the food restrictions—I wondered what Briggs's wife said to Briggs; and I made up a ...
— Observations of an Orderly - Some Glimpses of Life and Work in an English War Hospital • Ward Muir

... "this same ferry on Clyde knows us very well, or we know it, which is all the same; no fear of any of our people meeting with any accident. We should have crossed from the opposite shore, but for the disturbances at Glasgow, which made it improper for his Grace's people to pass ...
— The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... fine day," or "The night is as clear as a bell," you had gone quite as far as the proprieties permitted. Love was also a forbidden word. You might say, "I love pie," but to say "I love Bettie," was mawkish if not actually improper. ...
— A Son of the Middle Border • Hamlin Garland

... She could recommend her, save to the Marquis de las Cisternas and her Sister Leonella. The protection of the One was very uncertain; and as to the Other, though fond of her Niece, Leonella was so thoughtless and vain as to make her an improper person to have the sole direction of a Girl so young and ignorant of the World. The Friar no sooner learnt the cause of her alarms than He begged her to make herself easy upon that head. He doubted not being able to secure for Antonia a safe refuge in the ...
— The Monk; a romance • M. G. Lewis

... I don't want to be improper. But I'd just like to ask you this: Does that Fenholtz hired help have to wear ...
— Cap'n Dan's Daughter • Joseph C. Lincoln

... my friend: d-n it, gentlemen, don't be rude. That's coming the thing a little too familiar. There is a medium: please direct your moist appropriations and your improper remarks in their proper places." The girl, cringing beneath the ruffian's hand, places the necessary receptacle ...
— Our World, or, The Slaveholders Daughter • F. Colburn Adams

... as rude and uncultivated; for Aristophanes and Horace, who both were considered as models of urbanity, display, at times, the coarsest indelicacy. On this subject, the diversity in the moral feeling of ages depends on other causes. Shakspeare, it is true, sometimes introduces us to improper company; at others, he suffers ambiguous expressions to escape in the presence of women, and even from women themselves. This species of petulance was probably not then unusual. He certainly did not indulge in it merely to ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... hath afforded shelter, should never be injured. Thou hast lived in our place happily, being duly honoured. And, O evil-minded one, having partaken of our food, how canst thou carry us off? And as thy acts are so improper and as thou hast grown in age without deriving any benefit and as thy propensities are evil, so thou deservest to die for nothing, and for nothing wilt thou die to-day. And if thou beest really evil-disposed and devoid of all virtue, do thou ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... the Use of SPECTACLES adapted to suit every variety of Vision by means of SMEE'S OPTOMETER, which effectually prevents Injury to the Eyes from the selection of Improper Glasses, and is extensively ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 238, May 20, 1854 • Various

... arriv'd in a few Days near the Field of Battle, and joyn'd my self with a broken Body of Men who were making up towards the Mountains to recover themselves after the Fatigue of Battle. The Noviceship I went through in the Highlands, was no improper Foundation for the course Method of living I have been since engag'd in for above Twenty Seven Years; during which Time, I have run through all those Hardships which are incident to one who seeks a ...
— Memoirs of Major Alexander Ramkins (1718) • Daniel Defoe

... from the windows of Mrs. Todgers, "Jennie" manifests the usual superfluous anxiety of her kind not to be called strong-minded. She is prettily indignant at the thought of female physicians: there is nothing improper in having diseases, but to cure them would be indelicacy indeed. Girls out of work, who wish for places in shops, are only "patriotic young ladies who desire to fill all the lucrative situations at present occupied by young men." She ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... differences of constitution and manner of application, is only natural; not dangerous, but rather beneficial. No two men go to work in the same way, notwithstanding they may have both learned of the same teacher, or been instructed upon the same principle. The greater trouble lies in improper application and inattention to details. Trifles make up the sum of life, as cents make dollars. An overanxious man, he who makes great haste to be rich, seldom prospers long in any undertaking. Possibilities, not probabilities, should be the guide. A sanguine disposition may or ...
— How to Get on in the World - A Ladder to Practical Success • Major A.R. Calhoon



Words linked to "Improper" :   unseemly, incorrect, irregular, correctitude, inappropriate, proper, unbecoming, indelicate, indecorous, unfit, untoward, uncomely, out-of-the-way, indecent, propriety, unconventional, properness



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