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Impropriety   Listen
noun
Impropriety  n.  (pl. improprieties)  
1.
The quality of being improper; unfitness or unsuitableness to character, time place, or circumstances; as, impropriety of behavior or manners.
2.
That which is improper; an unsuitable or improper act, or an inaccurate use of language. "But every language has likewise its improprieties and absurdities." "Many gross improprieties, however authorized by practice, ought to be discarded."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Impropriety" Quotes from Famous Books



... institution of the Board, been a constant struggle; for here and there, all over Scotland, in the large towns as well as in rural and remote parishes, the practice prevailed, and was occasionally discovered— generally by accident. The Board long ago expressed decided opinions on the impropriety of the practice. Now in Shetland, it so happens that almost the only persons who are practically the administrators of the Poor Law are more or less directly or indirectly interested in the local trade — in the fish-curing, or in the shops, or in the stores of one kind or another. In ...
— Second Shetland Truck System Report • William Guthrie

... consider that expression to be incorrect and misleading[13]. Freely allowing that the term 'variae lectiones,' for lack of a better, may be allowed to stand on the Critic's page, I yet think it necessary even a second time to call attention to the impropriety which attends its use. Thus Codex B differs from the commonly received Text of Scripture in the Gospels alone in 7578 places; of which no less than 2877 are instances of omission. In fact omissions constitute by far the larger number of what are commonly called 'Various Readings.' How then can ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... machinery and no soul. He is so thoroughly right in all he does; everything about him is so proper; he is so perfectly en regle in his own eyes,—that we sometimes wish that he might be betrayed into some impropriety, commit some not too great folly, have some escapade of rash enthusiasm. You respect him so much, you wonder why you do not love him more. It is because he is not open to influence. His goodness is so rigid, his opinions so declared, his character ...
— Orthodoxy: Its Truths And Errors • James Freeman Clarke

... Although I much admire the general doctrine preached in the Methodist church, yet I by no means approve of their discipline set up by Mr. Wesley, that reverend man of God. I very early saw into the impropriety of admitting slaves into their societies without permission of their owners, and told them the consequences that would attend it; but they rejected my advice; and it has not only prevented the increase of their ...
— The Journal of Negro History, Vol. I. Jan. 1916 • Various

... Vicar of Broad Chalke. Bunsen, it seems, was weak enough to believe that the prophet Jonah was a real personage. This evokes the following singular burst of critical indignation from the Reverend author of the present Essay:—"It provokes a smile on serious topics,"—(a kind of impropriety which the Vice-Principal of Lampeter will not commit except under protest and with an apology!)—"to observe the zeal with which our critic vindicates the personality of Jonah, and the originality ...
— Inspiration and Interpretation - Seven Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford • John Burgon

... being here; your letting me come. Impropriety—all of that!" A sharp whistle issued from her lips. "Oh! the EXCORIATING things she's said ...
— The Guest of Quesnay • Booth Tarkington

... was inexcusable, and on Emily's part rendered any advance impossible." Poor Emily shrank from transgressing what her parents represented as the limits due to delicacy and decorum, and she would have died rather than have been guilty of a real impropriety, or have appeared unfeminine in the eyes of Philip Hayforth; and yet it did often suggest itself to her mind—rather, however, in the shape of an undefined feeling than of a conscious thought—that the shortest, best, most straight-forward way of proceeding, was ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 2, No. 4, March, 1851 • Various

... physical properties, like all other medicines, they can only benefit such disorders as nature particularly formed them to relieve. Those who have been advocates for their positive virtues have, in this instance, but more confirmed the impropriety of adopting them as a general morning and evening beverage. This only explains more evidently the cause of so many being injured, where one is benefited, by drinking constantly India tea. There cannot possibly be stated a more self-evident proposition than ...
— A Treatise on Foreign Teas - Abstracted From An Ingenious Work, Lately Published, - Entitled An Essay On the Nerves • Hugh Smith

... unlooked for," replied his Aunt Caroline, and looked at Mr. Dod, who quailed, as if he were in some way responsible for it. "I confess I am not in the habit of meeting my connections promiscuously abroad." When we came to analyse the impropriety of this it was difficult, but we felt as a family very disreputable at the time. Mr. Dod radiated sympathy ...
— A Voyage of Consolation - (being in the nature of a sequel to the experiences of 'An - American girl in London') • Sara Jeannette Duncan

... Had she stayed away Richard might have yielded, for he was frightened at the storm he had invoked; but Richard was passive in his mother's hands, and listened complacently while in stronger, plainer language than he had used she repeated in substance all he had said about the impropriety of Ethelyn's mingling with the gay throng at Washington. Immodesty, Mrs. Markham called it, with sundry reflections upon the time when she was young, and what young married women did then. And ...
— Ethelyn's Mistake • Mary Jane Holmes

... was this ogre, this brigand, this scoundrel Macquart, whom Adelaide had chosen! In twenty months she had two children by him, first a boy and then a girl. There was no question of marriage between them. Never had the Faubourg beheld such audacious impropriety. The stupefaction was so great, the idea of Macquart having found a young and wealthy mistress so completely upset the gossips, that they even spoke gently of Adelaide. "Poor thing! She's gone quite ...
— The Fortune of the Rougons • Emile Zola

... if he were not dazzled by fairy-land glamor, would probably be that far better than either tact and industry on a master's part is the loyalty of an unscrupulous retainer of an imaginative turn of mind. The impropriety of this teaching is not balanced by any other form of instruction. What the story openly inculcates is not edifying, and it does not secretly convey any improving doctrine." But on the other hand it may be argued that the "moral" ...
— Children's Literature - A Textbook of Sources for Teachers and Teacher-Training Classes • Charles Madison Curry

... himself unable to do anything else. Mr. Knaggs responded, and did pretty well considering the lateness of the hour, but insisted that he ought to have a better surface than the carpet. Amidon dimly resented as an impropriety Mr. Knaggs' brilliant proof of the correctness of his position regarding the carpet, by a tumultuously ...
— Double Trouble - Or, Every Hero His Own Villain • Herbert Quick

... and Mademoiselle de Verneuil, the natural sister of the King; and while Louis was absorbed by visions of absolute empire, and meditating the destruction of his Protestant subjects, the private circle of the Queen was loud with revelry, and indulging in amusement to the very verge of impropriety. ...
— The Life of Marie de Medicis, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Julia Pardoe

... Kilsby must, indeed, have produced a very startling effect on the recluse inhabitants of the place. Robert Stephenson used to tell a story of the clergyman of the parish waiting upon the foreman of one of the gangs to expostulate with him as to the shocking impropriety of his men working during Sunday. But the head navvy merely hitched up his trousers, and said, "Why, Soondays hain't cropt out here yet!" In short, the navvies were little better than heathens, and the village of Kilsby was not restored to its wonted ...
— Lives of the Engineers - The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson • Samuel Smiles

... schools," where so much loss has obviously to be set against whatever is gained. In this case, not only the idea, but all the practical details came from the boy himself and the little band of enthusiasts that gathered round him. Indeed, one feels a sense of impropriety in describing what was essentially not our work, but his. However, it was the fine flower of political education, and as such may fitly close this chapter. "Houses," after all, and not "forms," are the natural social units that compose ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... said I, "how you will put aside the authority of Moses. If Moses strove against image-worship, should not his doing so be conclusive as to the impropriety of the practice; what higher authority can you have ...
— The Romany Rye - A Sequel to 'Lavengro' • George Borrow

... below. Handstone, though a martinet, was a gentleman; and as he felt a great interest in the young officers in the ship, so he took much pains in the instruction and improvement of them. He frequently expostulated with me on the great impropriety of my conduct; my answer invariably was, that I was as sensible of it as he could be, but that I could not help it; that I deserved all the punishment I met with, and threw myself entirely on his mercy. He used frequently to call me over to the weather side of the deck, when he would converse ...
— Frank Mildmay • Captain Frederick Marryat

... circle without the liquor being tasted by any one, and is upon the point of being returned to the red-clothed Manitou, when one of the Indians, a brave man and a great warrior, suddenly jumps up and harangues the assembly, on the impropriety of returning the cup with its content: It was handed to them, said he, by the Manitou, that they should drink out of it as he had done: to follow his example would be pleasing to him, but to return what he had given to them, might provoke his wrath, and bring destruction ...
— Peter Parley's Tales About America and Australia • Samuel Griswold Goodrich

... without a struggle the continuance of such prosperity. Gradually the tide of public approval changed; rivals spoke slightingly of one who surpassed them; her impetuous words—and she was frank almost to a fault—were misrepresented, and envying lips whispered of the impropriety of her independent mode of life. Flatterers grew more cautious, professing friends looked coldly, and, one by one, her female acquaintances found various pretexts for withdrawing their attentions. Theresa was not suspicious; it was long before ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... you do not imagine that there was any impropriety in the Prince and Princess walking together in the palace garden, and because Giglio kissed Angelica's hand in a polite manner. In the first place they are cousins; next, the Queen is walking in the garden too (you cannot see her, for she happens to be behind that tree), and Her Majesty always wished ...
— The Rose and the Ring • William Makepeace Thackeray

... I had tea in Kyoto, tells of tying his wife's shoes on the street, on one occasion, only to find the Japanese amazed that a man should so humble himself. His wife's taking his arm in walking was also regarded as the height of impropriety! ...
— Where Half The World Is Waking Up • Clarence Poe

... calling for reconsideration of any measure except in obedience to requirements of duty. When, however, he entertains a decisive and fixed conclusion, not merely of the unconstitutionality, but of the impropriety, or injustice in other respects, of any measure, if he declare that he approves it he is false to his oath, and he deliberately disregards his ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 4) of Volume 5: Franklin Pierce • James D. Richardson

... released from all obligations of honor or of honesty. In the seventeenth century it might pass in France; for the line between gentle and simple was so sharply drawn that ladies of rank saw no greater impropriety in disrobing before their footmen than before their dogs. But the progress of liberty or of egalite blotted out the valets of comedy. Even in Regnard's time the inconsistencies of the character were noticed. Jasmin, in ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 92, June, 1865 • Various

... impresi. Impress (print) presi. Impression (printing) presajxo. Impression impreso. Impressionable impresebla. Impressive impresa. Imprison malliberigi. Improbable neversxajna. Improper nedeca. Impropriety nedececo. Impromptu senprepara. Improve plibonigi. Improvement plibonigo. Improvident malspxarema. Improvise improvizi. Imprudent nesingardema. Impudent senhonta. Impulse pusxo. Impure ...
— English-Esperanto Dictionary • John Charles O'Connor and Charles Frederic Hayes

... quietly put forth in the darkness, without a notion of impropriety, Sophia was struck with the fact that they coincided with her own estimate of the state of ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... corners, and a slight murmur of disapprobation was heard even from the seats on the platform. Then Lord Drummond got up and begged that there might be silence. Mr. Gotobed had come there to tell them his views,—and as they had come there expressly to listen to him, they could not without impropriety interrupt him. "That such will be the feeling of the country before long," continued the Senator, "I think no one can doubt who has learned how to look to the signs of the times in such matters. Is it ...
— The American Senator • Anthony Trollope

... the fact that I was not one of General Thomas's corps commanders, but an army commander, holding the same grade of command, by special assignment of the President under the law, as General Thomas himself, he might without military impropriety have left to me in his report, as he had before done in fact, whether intentionally or not, the entire responsibility of the operations of the army under my immediate command from Pulaski to Nashville. The record shows that, from the necessities of the case, ...
— Forty-Six Years in the Army • John M. Schofield

... entirely ignorant of the contents of the documents found in his possession; that he had imagined—indeed he had been distinctly told—that they were innocent private letters relating to personal and domestic affairs; that he did not know there was any impropriety in conveying such letters; that if he had suspected their nature or known that they included official despatches he ...
— Fighting For Peace • Henry Van Dyke

... grew up between them. Maurice was hurt: she had shown too openly the small value she set on his opinion. In addition to this, he was disagreeably affected by her craving for excitement at any cost. To his mind, there was more than a touch of impropriety in the proceeding; it was just as if a mourner of a few months' standing should suddenly discard his mourning, and with it all the other ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... met in the street a young lady who, but yesterday, seemed to me a young girl. She had in the interval taken that sudden leap from youth to maturity which is always so wonderful and perplexing. When I had seen her last there would have been no impropriety in giving her a kiss in the street. Now I should as little have thought of offering to kiss her as of whistling to the Archbishop of Canterbury if I had seen that dignitary passing on the other side of the road. She had taken wing ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... such candor, judgment and authority that the men present whispered together, and seemed almost inclined to think that they had committed a shameful indiscretion in suspecting so gallant an officer and so perfect a gentleman of any impropriety, on the mere word of a strange woman, who was certainly ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... desiring me to follow him with a kid for our share of the supper. I did so, and on my return she asked me why I had drawn my knife upon the seaman, and I narrated how it occurred. She pointed out to me the impropriety of what I had done, asking me whether the Bible did not tell us we were ...
— The Little Savage • Captain Marryat

... and held in his pocket the key that controlled the circuit. Then the marvel began. The instrument told when persons entered or left the room, when any thing was taken from the table without permission, or any impropriety committed. Even covered with a piece of deer skin, it could see distinctly. With the human tendency to ascribe to the devil anything not understood, these natives looked upon the telegraph as supernatural. As it showed no desire ...
— Overland through Asia; Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar - Life • Thomas Wallace Knox

... her in getting up and returning to bed. She entreated me to allow her to be carried to his bedside; where, she said, they might mix their tears and console each other; and all my arguments against the impropriety of such an obvious mode of increasing her husband's illness, and augmenting those sufferings she was so solicitous to ameliorate, were scarcely sufficient to prevent her from putting her design ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 2 - Historical, Traditional, and Imaginative • Alexander Leighton

... whose presence he was, was ready to sink with confusion; but, in answer to Gluck's questions, he told him that he was a young musical student from the country, whose anxiety to be present at the performance of the opera had led him into the commission of an impropriety. Gluck, as may be supposed, was delighted with a piece of enthusiasm so flattering to himself, and not only gave his young admirer a ticket of admission, but desired his acquaintance." From this artistic contretemps, then, arose a friendship alike creditable to the goodness and generosity of Gluck, ...
— The Great German Composers • George T. Ferris

... confess, to make free with the Characters of particular Persons; for there are some Men in the World, who, tho' they are not asham'd of the Impropriety of ...
— A Critical Essay on Characteristic-Writings - From his translation of The Moral Characters of Theophrastus (1725) • Henry Gally

... is right for other people to be virtuous so that they can be happy hereafter, but if I knew every impropriety that even Mr. Putzel has committed in his life, I would not mention one of them. My judgment has been maturing for seventy years, and I have got to that point where I know ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... choose a sheet of water like Cedar Lake to perform the last offices for him, in case he seriously meditated taking unceremonious leave of life and its accidents. He could find a river easily enough, to say nothing of other methods of effecting his purpose; but he had committed himself as to the impropriety of selecting a lake, so they need not be anxious about the white canoe and its occupant, as they watched it skimming the surface ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... the girls spoke. That would have seemed to them the height of impropriety. But Elena extended her arm over the wall so that her little hand hung just above young Castro's head. He leaped three times in the air, and finally succeeded in brushing his mustache against those ...
— The Splendid Idle Forties - Stories of Old California • Gertrude Atherton

... state of affairs when Lord Cochrane entered the port. Only five days afterwards, on the 14th of November, 1823, he wrote a bold letter to the Emperor. "My sense of the impropriety of intruding myself on the attention of your Imperial Majesty on any subject unconnected with the official position with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour me," he said, "could only have been overcome by an irresistible desire, under existing circumstances, ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. • Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

... can enter into your feelings and have no wish to quarrel with your expression of them. It is quite right and natural that you should feel as you do except as regards one passage, the impropriety of which you will yourself doubtless feel upon reflection, and to which I will not further allude than to say that it has wounded me. You should not have said 'in spite of my scholarships.' It was only proper that if you could do anything to assist ...
— The Way of All Flesh • Samuel Butler

... as possible—or as many as are necessary—of the general characteristics of the Indian, both good and bad—so as to give a fair view of the character, according to the principle intimated above. And I may, perhaps without impropriety, here state, that this may be taken as the key to all the sketches which are to follow. It is quite probable that many examples of each class treated, might be found, who are exceptions to the rules stated, in almost every particular; ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... None of us said anything. We sat about that big round table as if assembled for a conference and looked at each other in a sort of fatuous consternation. I would have ended by laughing outright if I had not been saved from that impropriety by poor Fyne ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... felt that nothing short of absolute impropriety ought to make her gratify her shrinking reluctance. Mrs. Aylward seemed to think her doubts uncalled for, and attributed her hesitation to fear of ...
— Love and Life • Charlotte M. Yonge

... forefathers—what visible reference was there to these fine things in poor Lionel's stable-stamped composition? When she came in this evening and saw his small sons making competitive noises in their mugs (Miss Steet checked this impropriety on her entrance) she asked herself what they would have to show twenty years later for the frame that made them just then a picture. Would they be wonderfully ripe and noble, the perfection of human culture? The contrast was before her again, the sense of ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... Mightinesses. The votes of eight cities, viz. Dort, Haerlem, Delft, Leyden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Gorcum, and Schiedam, were directly against it. The speeches of Haerlem and Leyden, which being written were read, have been admired. The points wherein the eight agree, are 1st. The impropriety of the Duke's addressing himself by letter (when as a military servant he should have done it by request) to their High Mightinesses, which are by no means competent judges, when he should have applied to the true and only Sovereign ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... in the magistrate to tolerate those who preach against the doctrine of the TRINITY? Johnson was highly offended, and said, 'I wonder, Sir, how a gentleman of your piety can introduce this subject in a mixed company.' He told me afterwards, that the impropriety was, that perhaps some of the company might have talked on the subject in such terms as might have shocked him; or he might have been forced to appear in their eyes a narrow-minded man. The gentleman, with submissive deference, said, he had only hinted at the question from ...
— Life of Johnson - Abridged and Edited, with an Introduction by Charles Grosvenor Osgood • James Boswell

... head at the amazed faces of the girls, who had come in during the recital, and who had been guilty of the impropriety of all exclaiming at once when the climax was reached. "I am in earnest. I am engaged as companion to no less a person ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... reached its limit last year and that a saner and more decent sense of propriety would evince itself in the revulsion of public taste. But the tendency to bizarre indecency has increased so that now we are offered in our public ballrooms the spectacle of criminal impropriety—of women's bare legs with painted knees, of naked backs and lewdly veiled bosoms, of transparent skirts and suggestive nudity, of decorated flesh and vulgar exposure generally—the sort of thing that has ever preceded the downfall of civilizations. It has no relation whatever to the nudity ...
— Heart and Soul • Victor Mapes (AKA Maveric Post)

... exquisite. A female with a guitar by the same master is almost equal to it. There are two Lucretias—one by Guido and one by Giordano: though both are beautiful, particularly the former, there was, I thought, an impropriety in the conception of both pictures: the figure was too voluptuous—too exposed, and did not give me the idea of the matronly Lucretia, who so carefully arranged her drapery before she fell. I remember, too, a St. Cecilia by Carlo Dolci, of most heavenly ...
— The Diary of an Ennuyee • Anna Brownell Jameson

... But he rightly considers the office of the detector as insignificant in comparison with that of the discoverer, and his glow of satisfaction is reserved for the nobler employment. The points on which he insists are the obligation of honestly desiring to understand an author; the impropriety of fastening on defects, or of simply balancing between defects and merits; the duty of approving with heartiness and warmth, in place of that cold-blooded moderation which he pronounces, with Vauvenargues, "a sure sign of mediocrity." ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 102, April, 1866 • Various

... occasion I have given my opinion at some length upon the impropriety of Executive interference in the legislation of Congress—that the article in the Constitution making it the duty of the President to communicate information and authorizing him to recommend measures was not intended to make him the source in legislation, ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... 2. The impropriety of habitual concealment may be further illustrated. An individual who endeavors to conceal the business in which he is engaged, or the place and mode of carrying it on, exposes himself to the suspicion of his fellow-men. People lose confidence ...
— Secret Societies • David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher

... to bringing fashionably dressed ladies to the flat so that they might see for themselves; and docile looking gentlemen in dark clothes and galoshes came to mutter over the extraordinary impropriety of allowing boys and girls to live in the ...
— Mr. Bingle • George Barr McCutcheon

... the street many began to ask themselves and each other if any one would obey the preacher's exhortation and send their carriages away. The carriages were lined up in the street just as they would be outside a theatre. Some of their owners got in and drove away, making very pointed remarks on the impropriety of bringing such subjects as carriages and horses into sermons and the length that young curates would go now-a-days to obtain notoriety. Others dismissed theirs and went away trying to look unconcerned; while other people stared after them, some smiling ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... get over that difficulty," said Banzayemon. "As I am a Samurai myself, there will be no impropriety in my going and saying a few civil words to ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... follow the law in respect to teaching the principles of piety, without any instruction from the school committee, and is almost always allowed to do this in his own way, unless he is guilty of some impropriety, in which case the school committee interferes. He usually has devotional exercises at the opening of the school, and reads the Scriptures, or causes them to be read, as an act of worship, whether they are prescribed by the committee or not. ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... took another turn at the tea. The race list was a tempting one, Riddlesworth, Craven Stakes, Column Stakes, Oatlands, Port, Claret, Sherry, Madeira, and all other sorts. A good week's racing in fact, for the saintly sinners who frequent the Heath had not then discovered any greater impropriety in travelling on a Sunday, then in cheating each other on the Monday. The tea was good, as were the prawns and eggs, and George brought a second muffin, at the very moment that the Yorkshireman had finished the last piece of the first, ...
— Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities • Robert Smith Surtees

... were at sword's points, and had but recently assailed each other with great bitterness in the House. How all this was turned to account by the counsel will now appear. In vindicating the President against the charge of undignified utterances and impropriety of speech in recent public addresses, Mr. Evarts candidly admits that the Executive, whose early educational advantages had been meagre indeed, and who was confessedly untaught of the schools, "had gotten into trouble by undertaking to be ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... quietly, and fear not I shall go too happily! Suppress your own feelings, rather than seek to awaken mine. Alas! there is little occasion!—Oh Mr Delvile! were our connection opposed by no duty, and repugnant to no friends, were it attended by no impropriety, and carried on with no necessity of disguise,—you would not thus charge me with indifference, you would not suspect me of insensibility,—Oh no! the choice of my heart would then be its glory, and all I now blush to feel, I should openly and ...
— Cecilia vol. 3 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... great deal of nonsense talked about the wickedness or at least the impropriety of Greenwich Village—and some of the talk is by people who ought to know better. The Village is, to be sure, entirely unconventional and incurably romantic and dramatic in its tastes. It is appallingly honest, dangerously young in spirit and ...
— Greenwich Village • Anna Alice Chapin

... the Sabbath, the temperance cause, and other matters of Christian morality. In discipline, stress was laid on the propriety and duty of private admonition, in its successive scriptural steps, before public censure. On this point one brother said he had privately admonished a neighbor of the impropriety of taking articles to the camp on the Sabbath, and he had acknowledged his fault, and promised amendment. The duty of forgiving offenders, and undoing wrongs, was also insisted on. Several had been improperly excluded from church privileges through the ...
— Mary S. Peake - The Colored Teacher at Fortress Monroe • Lewis C. Lockwood

... of Clark County, in their remonstrance, express their sense of the impropriety of the measure, and solicit the Congress of the United States not to act on the subject, so as to permit the introduction of slaves into the Territory; at least, until their population shall entitle them to form ...
— History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2) - Negroes as Slaves, as Soldiers, and as Citizens • George Washington Williams

... as strongly as any one, not merely the impropriety, but the injustice of introducing private character into such discussions. There is, however, a maxim too well established to need any comment of mine. The public character of every public servant is legitimate subject of discussion, and his fitness or unfitness for office may be fairly ...
— Decline of Science in England • Charles Babbage

... only undismantled one in the house; plates are warming for Forster and Maclise, whose knock I am momentarily expecting; that groom I told you of, who never comes into the house, except when we are all out of town, is walking about in his shirt-sleeves without the smallest consciousness of impropriety; a great mound of proofs are waiting to be read aloud, after dinner. With what a shout I would clap you down into the easiest chair, my genial Felton, if you would but appear, and order you a ...
— Yesterdays with Authors • James T. Fields

... have been left to his successors. Among these appointments was that of John Marshall, his Secretary of State, to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,—one that reflected great credit upon his discernment, in spite of its impropriety, for Marshall's name is one of the greatest in the annals of our judiciary. On the following morning, before the sun had risen, the ex-president was on his way to Braintree, not waiting even for the ...
— Beacon Lights of History, Volume XI • John Lord

... replied: "The principal topic of your letter is to me a point of great delicacy indeed—insomuch that I can scarcely, without some impropriety, touch upon it.... You are among the small number of those who know my invincible attachment to domestic life, and that my sincerest wish is to continue in the enjoyment of it solely until my final hour. But the world would be neither so well instructed, nor so candidly disposed, as to believe ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... thus defined, can not be thought, and therefore it is argued the Infinite God can not be known. Such a doctrine shocks our moral sense, and we shrink from the thought of an Infinite which includes evil. There is certainly a moral impropriety, if not a logical impossibility, in such a ...
— Christianity and Greek Philosophy • Benjamin Franklin Cocker

... midnight pillow than in the noonday walk. Our vices, which are the pastime of the drawing-room, become the bugbears of the silent bedchamber. Margaret, when she would have slept, was haunted by reproaches, which waited until then to agitate and frighten her. A sense of impropriety and sinfulness started in her bosom, and convicted her of an offence—unpardonable in her sight—against the blessed memory of Mildred. She could not deny it, Michael Allcraft had created on her heart a favourable impression—one that must be obliterated at once ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... also glad to find that so many of my boys possess the true spirit of manliness. I ask them to promise me that they will never look at those books again, and if there be others in the school who might have admitted the same impropriety, but have not, I appeal to you to show by your contempt of such helps your determination that nothing but what is honest, fair, and manly shall characterise the actions of the scholars of ...
— Bert Lloyd's Boyhood - A Story from Nova Scotia • J. McDonald Oxley

... heard it from Mrs. Dysart about half an hour ago." He hesitated, then frankly awkward: "I say, Mallett, I'm a sort of an ass about these things. Is there any impropriety in my going about with Mrs. ...
— The Danger Mark • Robert W. Chambers

... an example, he may find a very familiar one in churches, where, if what is delivered from the pulpit be a grave, solid, rational discourse, all the congregation grow weary, and fall asleep, till their patience be released; whereas if the preacher (pardon the impropriety of the word, the prater I would have said) be zealous, in his thumps of the cushion, antic gestures, and spend his glass in the telling of pleasant stories, his beloved shall then stand up, tuck their hair behind their ears, and be very devoutly attentive. So among the saints, ...
— In Praise of Folly - Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts • Desiderius Erasmus

... misdemeanant for the space of one calendar month; and I trust that during the retirement thus enforced upon you, which to a person of your resources should not be very irksome, you will reflect on the rashness, the incaution, the impropriety, in one word, of your conduct, and that you will never be discovered again appropriating to your personal use money which has been entrusted to your care by ...
— The Tables Turned - or, Nupkins Awakened. A Socialist Interlude • William Morris

... them. But I thought it requisite to limit my Concession by premising the words, very much, to the word Inconvenience, because that though the Inconvenience of calling the distinct Substances, mention'd in the Proposition Elements or Principles, be not very great, yet that it is an Impropriety of Speech, and consequently in a matter of this moment not to be altogether overlook'd, You will perhaps think, as well as I, by that time you shall have heard the following part of my Discourse, ...
— The Sceptical Chymist • Robert Boyle

... what were the facts in the matter and what the law bearing upon them. The keynote of his character in this respect may be known from an extract taken from his charge to the grand jury in the Winter term of 1856, in which it was expected a case would come before that body of alleged impropriety or crime by a Government officer, growing out of party zeal during a very heated political canvass. The passions of men were intensely excited at the time of the delivery of the charge, and that address had the effect of suddenly cooling down the popular mind, in the city and vicinity ...
— Cleveland Past and Present - Its Representative Men, etc. • Maurice Joblin

... good deal of a slight matter, to tell the internal conflicts in the heart of a quiet person something more than juvenile and something less than senile, as to whether he should be guilty of an impropriety, and, if he were, whether he would get caught in his indiscretion. And yet the memory of the kiss that Margaret of Scotland gave to Alain Chartier has lasted four hundred years, and put it into the head of many an ill-favored poet, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... solemn old heads as they hold themselves up to us as a warning; they sermonize with edifying gravity on the impropriety of such misdemeanors; but we can trace through all this an under-current of satisfaction tenderly fatuitous, as they go back to the days of their gipsyhood, when ...
— Guy Livingstone; - or, 'Thorough' • George A. Lawrence

... sustain me with all her influence. Consequently, finding the Emperor in a good humor, I spoke of M. Frere; and depicting to his Majesty the despair of this poor man, I pointed out to him the reasons which might excuse the impropriety of his conduct. "Sire," said I, "he is a good man, who has no fortune, and supports a numerous family; and if he has to quit the service of her Majesty the Empress, it will not be believed that it was on account of a fault for which ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... getting under way, I once more cried and begged to be released; and now, being fortunately in the way of their hoisting the sails, they released me. When I was let down, I spoke to one Mr. Cox, a carpenter, whom I knew on board, on the impropriety of this conduct. He also knew the doctor, and the good opinion he ever had of me. This man then went to the captain, and told him not to carry me away in that manner; that I was the doctor's steward, who regarded me very highly, ...
— The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African - Written By Himself • Olaudah Equiano

... the decisions of these tribunals, which reveal a state of society to which the nearest modern approach is that of Italy in the eighteenth century, when, as Goldoni and Parini show us, as Stendhal (whose "De l'Amour" may be taken as the modern "Breviari d'Amor") expounds, there was no impropriety possible as long as a lady was beloved by any one except her own husband. No love, therefore, between unmarried people (the cyclical romances, as before stated, and the Amadises, belong to another time of social condition, and the only real exception to my rule of which I can think is the ...
— Euphorion - Being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the - Renaissance - Vol. II • Vernon Lee

... Pitt broached the matter to Lord Grenville on 7th May, and received on the morrow a friendly but firm refusal. The following sentences are noteworthy: "We rest our determination solely on our strong sense of the impropriety of our becoming parties to a system of Government which is to be formed at such a moment as the present on a principle of exclusion.... We see no hope of any effectual remedy for those mischiefs but by uniting in the public service as ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... once again, had saluted the country in saluting its flags, she entered her carriage, surrounded by a brilliant escort. De Guiche had hoped that the Duke of Buckingham would accompany the admiral to England; but Buckingham succeeded in demonstrating to the queen that there would be great impropriety in allowing Madame to proceed to Paris, almost unprotected. As soon as it had been settled that Buckingham was to accompany Madame, the young duke selected a corps of gentlemen and officers to form part of his own suite, so that it was almost an ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... sit up half an hour later on a Sunday evening, that I might hear a portion of Scripture read, which had always been their custom, though by reason of my tender age, and my father's opinion on the impropriety of children being taught too young, I had never till now been an auditor. I was taught my prayers, and those things which you, ladies, I doubt not, had the benefit of being instructed in at a much ...
— Books for Children - The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 3 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... upon her, urging every argument they could think of to convince her she was deceived. Some expressed a fear that her mind was a little unbalanced, and shook their heads over the possible result; others declared that she was committing a great impropriety to shut herself up every Sunday with two old men. This, Angelina informed them, was a mistake, as the windows and doors were wide open, and the gate also. Others of her friends assured her with tears in their eyes that they would pray to the Lord to bring her back to the path of ...
— The Grimke Sisters - Sarah and Angelina Grimke: The First American Women Advocates of - Abolition and Woman's Rights • Catherine H. Birney

... reflectively. "But then Clarice and I could hardly have weathered scandal except by making ourselves particularly agreeable to everybody. And somehow I got into the habit of making people laugh. It isn't very difficult. I am rather an adept at telling stories which just graze impropriety, for instance. You know, they call me the social triumph of my generation. And people are glad to see me because I am 'so awfully funny' and 'simply killing' and so on. And I suppose it tells in the long run—like the dyer's ...
— The Rivet in Grandfather's Neck - A Comedy of Limitations • James Branch Cabell

... the advantages they enjoyed on this island, where nothing but industry was requisite to insure them a happy and comfortable livelihood; after which, I exhorted them to let their future conduct wipe away the present impropriety of their behaviour: those who distinguished themselves by a regular, honest, and industrious line of conduct, I promised to countenance and encourage, whilst those of a contrary description were sure to be made ...
— An Historical Journal of the Transactions at Port Jackson and Norfolk Island • John Hunter

... a rather noisy debate on the impropriety of their master's behavior; and little Alfred, finding his brother was not speaking, ventured to remind him of his promise. Contrary to his usual habit, Hamilton turned ...
— Louis' School Days - A Story for Boys • E. J. May

... new batch of literature. The publishers will soon be having their 'fall and spring openings' and their 'special importations for Horse-Show Week.' But the Bishop is right, of course—nothing helps a book like a rousing attack on its morals; and as the publishers can't exactly proclaim the impropriety of their own wares, the task has to be left to ...
— The Descent of Man and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... if he were mad, saw no impropriety in doing what Malicorne requested her; she took a pencil and wrote, "wood;" and then counted ten paces from her window to her bed, and wrote, "ten feet;" and having done this, she looked out again at Malicorne, who bowed to her, signifying that he was about to descend. La ...
— The Vicomte de Bragelonne - Or Ten Years Later being the completion of "The Three - Musketeers" And "Twenty Years After" • Alexandre Dumas

... wife's confidence, of having, on second thoughts, no reason to be surprised at her departure. It was humiliating, he supposed, to be thus laying bare his discomfiture to his dependents—he could see that even Knowles was affected by the manifest impropriety of the situation—but no pretext presented itself to his mind, and after another interval of silence he turned slowly toward the door of ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... think it safe to relax her hold upon the door, and Bartley went filially to her rescue—if it was rescue to salute her blushing defencelessness as he did. A confused sense of the extraordinary nature and possible impropriety of the proceeding may have suggested her husband to her mind; or it may have been a feeling that some remark was expected of her, even in the mental destitution to ...
— A Modern Instance • William Dean Howells

... the two women on that morning respecting Mr. Gilmore. Mrs. Fenwick, who had allowed herself to be convinced that Mary would act with great impropriety if she did not accept the man, thought that further speech might only render her friend obstinate. Mary, who knew the inside of her friend's mind very clearly, and who loved and respected her friend, could hardly fix her own mind. During the past night it had been fixed, or nearly fixed, ...
— The Vicar of Bullhampton • Anthony Trollope

... shall endeavour,' said Mr. Micawber, 'occasionally to spin them a yarn; and the melody of my son Wilkins will, I trust, be acceptable at the galley-fire. When Mrs. Micawber has her sea-legs on—an expression in which I hope there is no conventional impropriety—she will give them, I dare say, "Little Tafflin". Porpoises and dolphins, I believe, will be frequently observed athwart our Bows; and, either on the starboard or the larboard quarter, objects of interest will be continually descried. In short,' said Mr. Micawber, with the old genteel ...
— David Copperfield • Charles Dickens

... although Jack did not attempt to deny that he had seen the recall signal of Mr Sawbridge, yet, as his account went on, the captain became so interested, that at the end of it he quite forgot to point out to Jack the impropriety of not obeying orders. He gave Jack great credit for his conduct, and was also much pleased with that of Mesty. Jack took the opportunity of stating Mesty's aversion to his present employment, and his recommendation was graciously received. Jack ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Frederick Marryat

... to be quite as lovely as you imagine, Miss Effingham," returned Aristabulus, who saw no impropriety in answering a remark made to Miss Van Cortlandt, or any one else, "I hope you will have the kindness to conceal the fact ...
— Home as Found • James Fenimore Cooper

... point of the extreme impropriety of my presence, I rose, with an apology, to leave. But she shook her head quickly, determinedly, saying that as I had heard so much I must hear more. Then she went on ...
— The Mayor's Wife • Anna Katharine Green

... them that nothing of an indecorous nature would be presented upon the scene. The prologue to "The Woman Hater," above mentioned, pronounces "to the utter discomfort of all twopenny gallery men," that there is no impropriety contained in the play, and bids them depart, if they have been looking for anything of the kind. "Or if there be any lurking amongst you in corners," it proceeds, "with table books who have some hope to find fit matter to feed his malice on, let them clasp ...
— A Book of the Play - Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character • Dutton Cook

... principal inhabitants to make a party. It is easy for that party to heat themselves with imaginary grievances. It is easy for them to oppress a man poorer than themselves; and natural to assert the dignity of riches, by persisting in oppression. The argument which attempts to prove the impropriety of restoring him to the school, by alledging that he has lost the confidence of the people, is not the subject of juridical consideration; for he is to suffer, if he must suffer, not for their judgement, but for his own actions. It ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 2 • Boswell

... for himself," said her son, using his most correct English, "the impropriety of my talking with an ...
— To Him That Hath - A Novel Of The West Of Today • Ralph Connor

... of wit and wisdom the custom is to steal more dearly a leaf wrested from the book of Nature and Truth, than all the indifferent volumes from which, however fine they be, it is impossible to extract either a laugh or a tear. The author has licence to say this without any impropriety, since it is not his intention to stand upon tiptoe in order to obtain an unnatural height, but because it is a question of the majesty of his art, and not of himself—a poor clerk of the court, whose business it is to have ...
— Droll Stories, Complete - Collected From The Abbeys Of Touraine • Honore de Balzac

... sustaining his master, with the other applied the cordial. Don Benito restored, the black withdrew his support, slipping aside a little, but dutifully remaining within call of a whisper. Such discretion was here evinced as quite wiped away, in the visitor's eyes, any blemish of impropriety which might have attached to the attendant, from the indecorous conferences before mentioned; showing, too, that if the servant were to blame, it might be more the master's fault than his own, since, when left to himself, he could ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... impropriety of tampering with a servant, I would cross the deck and question your good Nanny, this moment!" said Mr. Sharp with playful menace. "Of all torture, that of suspense is the hardest to ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... that night when those two people went up to their neglected couches—nothing but a widow would have stood the shock of such impropriety among the critical of her sex; but she didn't ...
— Phemie Frost's Experiences • Ann S. Stephens

... Chang-Chung, the deity interested in drugs and healing substances, nor had she wavered in her firm resolve to bring Ling back to an ordinary existence even when the attendants had protested that the person in question might without impropriety be sent to the Restoring Establishment of the Last Chance, so little did his hope of recovering rest upon ...
— The Wallet of Kai Lung • Ernest Bramah

... to consider Mr. Meredith—whose total yield of verse has been so scanty and the most of it so 'harsh and crabbed,' as not only 'dull fools' suppose—beside the great poets who have been his contemporaries, and to feel no impropriety in the comparison? That was the question X and I found ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... voting and office-holding of women shows that whenever men's theories of the relation of property to the political franchise, or of the lineal succession of the government, require that women shall vote or hold office, the objection of impropriety and incapacity wholly disappears. If it be unwomanly for a woman to vote, or to hold office, it is unwomanly for Victoria to be Queen of England. Surely if our neighbors had thought they would be better represented in this convention ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... both. I can now exercise this employment only upon hearsay, or, at most, written evidence; and therefore shall exercise it with great lenity and some diffidence; but when we meet, and that I can form my judgment upon ocular and auricular evidence, I shall no more let the least impropriety, indecorum, or irregularity pass uncensured, than my predecessor Cato did. I shall read you with the attention of a critic, not with the partiality of an author: different in this respect, indeed, from most critics, that I shall seek for faults only to correct and not to expose them. I ...
— The PG Edition of Chesterfield's Letters to His Son • The Earl of Chesterfield

... about the impropriety of making athletes and acrobats may with justice be also applied to what is called "vocal gymnastics;" whence it comes that we have too often vocal athletes and acrobats in our graduates, and few readers who can read at sight, without difficulty or hesitation, and with appreciation ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... a prim mistress in the whole length and breadth of England, it was Matilda Worrick. She liked girls to be neatly dressed; she could not bear to see them out at what she called inclement hours. She would have thought it the height of impropriety for Kitty and Fred to walk together at such an hour; but when in addition to this Kitty went out in a dress which Miss Worrick would have thought very unsuitable for home, when she wore a boy's college cap on her head, and when she had so far distinguished herself as to have been for a moment ...
— Wild Kitty • L. T. Meade

... 3. The impropriety, and indecorum of demeanour in his favourite characters, as in Bertoldo in the Maid of Honour, who is a swaggerer, talking to his sovereign what no sovereign could endure, and to gentlemen what no gentleman would answer without pulling ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... Items of this nature, your majesty, are recited in the bazaar to audiences composed exclusively of women. Under the circumstances there is surely no impropriety...
— King Arthur's Socks and Other Village Plays • Floyd Dell

... "if you saw any impropriety in the ceremony, why did you perform it? I beg you will now reserve your remarks. You ought to have made them before or not at all. If you be silent, the thing will probably never be heard of, and I should greatly dislike having ...
— Donal Grant • George MacDonald

... the like was new to me; No one could say a word to my dishonor. Ah, thought I, has he, haply, in thy manner Seen any boldness—impropriety? It seemed as if the feeling seized him, That he might treat this girl just as it pleased him. Let me confess! I knew not from what cause, Some flight relentings here began to threaten danger; I know, ...
— Faust • Goethe

... as guilty of the impropriety of allowing herself to love the newcomer in the face of his not being free to return her love? No; never for a moment did he doubt that all had occurred in her old, innocent, impulsive way; that her heart was gone before she knew it—before ...
— Desperate Remedies • Thomas Hardy

... in speaking of the "obituary method of appreciation," says that we feel a slight sense of impropriety and insecurity in contemporary plaudits. "Wait till he is well dead, and four or five decades of daisies have bloomed over him, says the world; then, if there is any virtue in his works, we will tag and label them and confer immortality upon ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... that I was expected to present my views on the leading issues of the day, and that a like invitation had been given to Governor Campbell and other gentlemen holding public trusts from the people of Ohio. While this invitation relieves me from the charge of impropriety in introducing a political question on the fair grounds, yet I am admonished by the presence of gentlemen of all parties and all shades of opinion that common courtesy demands that, while frankly stating my convictions, I will respect the opinions ...
— Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate and Cabinet - An Autobiography. • John Sherman

... were wrapped about my head," v. 5. The Psalm, which is partly, but not altogether, a compilation, must have been inserted here by a later hand, hardly by the author of the book, who would have noticed the impropriety ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... dictator? We see no impropriety in answering yes. Praetor maximus,—general-in-chief? the colours salute him. Magister populi,—the master of the people? ask the cannons levelled on the public squares. Pro numine observatum,—regarded as God? ask M. Troplong. He has appointed the Senate, he has instituted holidays, he ...
— Napoleon the Little • Victor Hugo

... profound obeisance, we retired backwards a few steps. His majesty smiled in a very gracious manner, waved his hand towards us, and said something (I did not know what) in a peculiarly kind accent; he then turned round, and the whole party along with him; which set us at liberty without impropriety to turn to the right about ourselves, and make our egress ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... bending down the table towards the offender, said in his shrillest tone—"Shall we continue this conversation in the drawing-room?" and rose from his chair. It was really a stroke of genius thus both to terminate and to rebuke the impropriety without violating the decorum due ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... to this, that not seven but nine States, or two thirds of the whole number, must consent to the most important resolutions; and it may be thence inferred that nine States would always comprehend a majority of the Union. But this does not obviate the impropriety of an equal vote between States of the most unequal dimensions and populousness; nor is the inference accurate in point of fact; for we can enumerate nine States which contain less than a majority of the people;(4) and it is constitutionally possible that these nine may give ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... what is mentioned above as high-class Chinese literature, which is pure enough to satisfy the most strait-laced. Chinese poetry, of which there is in existence a huge mass, will be searched in vain for suggestions of impropriety, for sly innuendo, and for the other tricks of the unclean. This extraordinary purity of language is all the more remarkable from the fact that, until recent years, the education of women has not been at all general, though many particular instances ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... shown his wife, and as she and Mrs. Darling seemed chosen rather to the exclusion of the other women, but when Mira and not herself became the invariable occupant of the seat by the swell civilian's side, the indiscretion, not to say the impropriety of the affair, became glaringly apparent. It is rarely from the contemplation of our own, but rather from the errors of our neighbors, that our moral lessons are drawn, and now that in all its nakedness the scandalous nature ...
— Under Fire • Charles King

... ears when he heard himself named by the governor, and considering this mention to be a sufficient introduction, he thought there would be no impropriety in his listening to the conversation. Accordingly, he approached the others, and noted with some satisfaction the troubled glances which Lecoq and ...
— Monsieur Lecoq • Emile Gaboriau

... work, feeling a little as if she had been swept off her feet; and she was not entirely without misgivings. The possible impropriety of going out alone with a man for the whole day did not rouble her, but the nature of the man, she was shrewd enough to perceive, ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page



Words linked to "Impropriety" :   properness, indecency, wrongness, indecorousness, behaviour, demeanour, indecorum, indelicacy, misdeed, deportment, familiarity, propriety



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