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Impropriety   /ˌɪmprəprˈaɪəti/   Listen
Impropriety

noun
(pl. improprieties)
1.
An improper demeanor.  Synonym: improperness.
2.
The condition of being improper.
3.
An indecent or improper act.  Synonym: indecency.
4.
An act of undue intimacy.  Synonyms: familiarity, indecorum, liberty.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Impropriety" Quotes from Famous Books



... title than their President, who is the head of the nation. To make it even, I would suggest that the title "President" be changed to "Emperor", for the following reasons: First, it would not only do away with the impropriety of the chief magistrate of the nation assuming a name below that of some of his people, but it would place him on a level with the highest ruler of any nation on the face of the earth. I have often heard the remark that ...
— America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat • Wu Tingfang

... as the term 'synonym' is defined thus, it will be at once perceived by any acquainted with its etymology, that, strictly speaking, it is a misnomer, and is given, with a certain inaccuracy and impropriety, to words which stand in such relations as I have just traced to one another; since in strictness of speech the terms, 'synonyms' and 'synonymous' applied to words, affirm of them that they cover not merely almost, but altogether, the ...
— On the Study of Words • Richard C Trench

... the rims till they had cleared the Breaks, then angled down to the foothills and headed for the Three Bar. They held a steady gait until a half hour after sunset and camped in the open near a tiny spring. Again Deane was impressed with the impropriety of the girl's being out with two men who loved her and the thought was an ache that remained with him. It was a natural reaction,—the lifelong training to guard against appearances which were open to criticism as religiously as against ...
— The Settling of the Sage • Hal G. Evarts

... with her own family. Within four days from their arrival William had to sail; and Fanny could not conceal it from herself that the home he had left her in was, in almost every respect, the very reverse of what she could have wished. It was the abode of noise, disorder and impropriety. Nobody was in his right place; nothing was done as it ought to be. She could not respect her parents as she had hoped. Her father was more negligent of his family, worse in his habits, coarser in his manners, than she had been prepared for. He did not ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol. I • Various

... always there, too. There is the old lady who thinks the lecture improper; it doesn't matter how moral it is, she's out for impropriety and she can find it anywhere. Then there is another very terrible man against whom all American lecturers in England should be warned—the man who is leaving on the 9 P.M. train. English railways running into suburbs and near-by towns have a ...
— My Discovery of England • Stephen Leacock

... postscript to his satires is prefixed by the editor in the room of a preface, and without any apparent impropriety. It is not without some signatures of the bishop's good sense and taste; and, making a just allowance for the use of a few obsolete terms, and the puerile custom of that age in making affected repetitions and reiterations of the same word within ...
— The Lives of the Poets of Great Britain and Ireland (1753) - Volume I. • Theophilus Cibber

... an impropriety to live in a house that was called a "semi-detached" house, when there was no other "semi" to it. It had always remained wholly detached, as the owner had never built the other ...
— The Peterkin Papers • Lucretia P Hale

... length, several governors of provinces represented to the imperial court, the impropriety of such conduct. Hence many were respited from execution, but, though they were not put to death, as much as possible was done to render their lives miserable, many of them having their ears cut off, their noses slit, their right eyes put out, their limbs rendered useless ...
— Fox's Book of Martyrs - Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant - Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs • John Fox

... of me having Oliver to dinner here alone—" said Mrs. Severance with the air of one ready to apologize for a very minor impropriety. "Silly and wrong—but Louise was coming too until she telephoned about Jane Ellen's little upset—and I thought we could have such fun getting supper together with Elizabeth away. I get a little tired ...
— Young People's Pride • Stephen Vincent Benet

... a witness myself to your impropriety of conduct, which, it appears, has long been concealed from me; but no more of that. I bound you apprentice to the river, and you must now follow up your apprenticeship; but expect nothing farther from me. ...
— Jacob Faithful • Captain Frederick Marryat

... to Time, or the Counter to Time, is by several people, called Counter-time: this cannot in effect alter this necessary part of the art; it being but an impropriety in terms; when they say that making a motion to bring the Enemy on, and when he is going to make a Thrust, the making a Counter; this is by consequence a Counter Time, like a Counter-disengagement, without observing that a Counter-time ...
— The Art of Fencing - The Use of the Small Sword • Monsieur L'Abbat

... to be in accordance with the rules of fair sport. For myself, I think that when the brute has so far saved himself, he should be entitled to the benefit of his cunning; but I will not now discuss the propriety or impropriety of that practice in venery. I can never, however, watch the doing of that work without thinking much of the agonising struggles of the poor beast whose last refuge is being torn from over his head. There he lies within a few yards of his arch enemy, the huntsman. The thick breath of ...
— Aaron Trow • Anthony Trollope

... language, but in our very looks, our gesture, and our walk; and that which is contrary to it will always be unbecoming, and disagreeable. If the Poet, therefore, carefully guards against any impropriety of the kind, and is always condemned as guilty of a fault, when he puts the language of a worthy man into the mouth of a ruffian, or that of a wife man into the mouth of a fool:—if, moreover, the artist who painted the sacrifice of Iphigenia, [Footnote: ...
— Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker. • Marcus Tullius Cicero

... John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, at the command of Edward IV., conclude thus: "Reserving always to the queenes highness and the ladyes there present, the attributing and gift of the prize after the manner and forme accustomed." If a knight was guilty of any impropriety of conduct, he was soundly beaten by the other knights, in order to teach him to respect the honour of the ladies ...
— English Villages • P. H. Ditchfield

... a decision as to his title, and had told every one concerned that he meant to be as he always had been,—George Roden, a clerk in the Post Office. When spoken to, on this side and the other, as to the propriety,—or rather impropriety,—of his decision, he had smiled for the most part, and had said but little, but had been very confident in himself. To none of the arguments used against him would he yield in the least. As to his mother's name, ...
— Marion Fay • Anthony Trollope

... with a fidgety motion, threw her head back a little, looked up at the portrait of Dr. Flavel in gown and bands which hung over the fireplace, straightened her gown upon her knees, and pushed it forward over her feet so as to cover them altogether—a mute protest against the impropriety of the scene she had partly described. Mr. Broad inwardly would have liked her to go on; but he always wore his white neckerchief, except when he was in bed, and he was still the Reverend John Broad, although nobody but his wife was with ...
— The Revolution in Tanner's Lane • Mark Rutherford

... August he dined with the French consul-general, and there will now be no impropriety in printing his agreeable sketch of the dinner. "There was present, among other Genoese, the Marquis di Negri: a very fat and much older Jerdan, with the same thickness of speech and size of tongue. He was Byron's friend, keeps open house here, writes poetry, improvises, and is a very good ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... unconscious of it, such as contributed to his spiritual adornment, to fit himself for his constant dwelling in his country of dreams. Certain people he avoided, certain he courted. One woman, who was innately coarse, although her life had hedged her in safely from impropriety, was calling upon his mother one afternoon about this time. She was the wife of the old Presbyterian clergyman, Dr. Gregg. She was a small, solidly built woman, in late middle life, tightly hooked up in black silk as to her body, and as to her soul by the prescribed boundaries of her position ...
— The Debtor - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... with him by coach into the great neighbouring town five miles away, and saw him off by train. The times and the place where these two were bred were alike primitive, and this farewell journey had no shadow of impropriety in it even for the most censorious eyes. The coach did not return till evening, and little Barbara had three or four hours on her hands. She walked disconsolately from the station, with her veil down to hide the few tears which forced themselves past her resolution. Scarcely noticing whither ...
— Cruel Barbara Allen - From Coals Of Fire And Other Stories, Volume II. (of III.) • David Christie Murray

... impropriety of this misuse of the name it will be needful to mention but a single illustration. Suppose a note or check is made payable to Mrs. John Smith. Mrs. being only a title, and no part of the name, the endorsement would be plain John Smith, and nobody, not even his wife, has any right to forge his ...
— Bay State Monthly, Vol. II. No. 5, February, 1885 - A Massachusetts Magazine • Various

... and to the Amir-ul-Omrah, and to Seyd Assam Cawn, the assignment would in fact be surrendered. HE WILL (IF ANY) BE THE SOUCAR SECURITY; and security in this country is counter-secured by possession. You would not choose to take the assignment from the Company, to give it to individuals. Of the impropriety of its returning to the Nabob, Mr. Benfield would now again argue from his former observations, that, under his Highness's management, his country declined, his people emigrated, his revenues decreased, and his country ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... between the understandings and the moral habits of men, between the absurdity of their ideas and the absurdity of their motives. Polonius is not a fool, but he makes himself so. His folly, whether in his actions or speeches, comes under the head of impropriety of intention. ...
— Characters of Shakespeare's Plays • William Hazlitt

... to bring the business forward, or to publish the Queen's infamy; 2ndly. That though I am myself perfectly satisfied of the King's prerogative, it was so far disputable as to render such an exercise of it very unwise; 3rdly. That there could have been no greater difficulty or impropriety in proceeding, if it should afterwards be rendered necessary by her coming to England, against "our gracious Queen Caroline," than against "the Princess of Wales," prayed for the preceding Sunday. As to the phrase of "gracious," ...
— Memoirs of the Court of George IV. 1820-1830 (Vol 1) - From the Original Family Documents • Duke of Buckingham and Chandos

... for females and children are always separate from the others, and are frequently in a building by itself. Here with no look-out from windows on the passing world, the news of which it would be an impropriety in a Circassian to question his wives about, they ply their tasks, spinning, weaving, embroidering, and knitting silver lace in an obscurity illumined by scanty rays of sunlight. The walls of these apartments ...
— Life of Schamyl - And Narrative of the Circassian War of Independence Against Russia • John Milton Mackie

... their zeal, devotion, and gifts as speakers, produced a deep impression, wherever they went. They met with considerable opposition from colonizationists, and also from a portion of the New England clergy, on the ground of the impropriety of their publicly addressing mixed audiences. This called forth in the Liberator, which at that time, I understand, was under the patronage, though I believe not under the control of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, a discussion of the ...
— A Visit To The United States In 1841 • Joseph Sturge

... legitimate drama, for the descent of Faustus into hell; "or, by means of a gauze transparency, the death of Ophelia might be indicated. I mention Ophelia because it was in that part my Arabella won what—if the expression may be used without impropriety—I will term her spurs. I am given to understand, however," added Mr. Mortimer, "that the apparatus requires a considerable reservoir, and a reservoir of any size is only compatible with fixity of tenure. An Ishmael—a wanderer upon the face of the earth—buffeted ...
— True Tilda • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... be an impropriety to mention in general orders a service such as you have rendered. To do so might subject you to greater peril, or to ill treatment were you to fall into the hands of the enemy. I needed no fresh proof of your merit to bear it in remembrance. No one can feel more sensibly ...
— Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker • S. Weir Mitchell

... oneself understood is commonly regarded as a sign of the superior mind. Lord Rosebery, for example, has told us that he himself, for all his honey-dropping tongue, has never been properly understood. And Hegel, the great German philosopher, who was so great a philosopher that we may without impropriety mention his name even in the brilliant vicinage of the Earl of Midlothian, used to sigh: "Alas! in the whole of my teaching career I had but one student who understood my system, and he mis-understood it." This is all very well in its way, and a climate of incomprehension may suit orators ...
— The Open Secret of Ireland • T. M. Kettle

... which he had entered in this connection would be of lasting benefit to this and future generations and, after a careful review of the whole situation, declared that "from the close relation in which I stand to the Queen there can be no impropriety in my stating that if her subjects desire, on the occasion of the celebration of her fiftieth year as Sovereign of this great Empire, to offer her a memorial of their love and loyalty, she would specially value one which would promote the industrial ...
— The Life of King Edward VII - with a sketch of the career of King George V • J. Castell Hopkins

... sanctioned for the one, the others must throw away their knapsacks and take their firelocks. As Mr. Pellew still clung to his proposal, the General took him aside, and having represented the impossibility of drawing off the army, convinced him of the impropriety of permitting the attempt by a small part ...
— The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth • Edward Osler

... woman speaks of "my husband"; to friends, she calls him by his Christian name. To servants, he is "Mr. Smith." This is a rule often violated, so often in fact, that few are aware of the impropriety of saying "Mr. Smith" to friends and acquaintances. The man employs the converse of the rule; it is "my wife" to acquaintances, etc. To speak of a daughter as "Miss Mary" or "Miss Jane" to anyone but a servant is insulting, placing ...
— Mother's Remedies - Over One Thousand Tried and Tested Remedies from Mothers - of the United States and Canada • T. J. Ritter

... Commissaire du Quartier. That formidable functionary received us with the customary French-polished veneer of urbanity which, as a rule, constitutes the suaviter in modo of the higher class of Gallic officials. He read us a severe lecture, however, upon the alleged impropriety of our conduct; and when I ventured to protest that it was not to us the blame ought to be imputed, but to the quatrieme, he mistook my meaning, and, ere I could explain myself, he cut me short with a polite ...
— A Stable for Nightmares - or Weird Tales • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... the servant acknowledged the whole circumstance, when her friends were allowed to depart, after being admonished by the worthy divine in regard to the proper use of the Sabbath. They could not but consider the dog as an instrument in the hand of Providence to point out the impropriety of spending this holy day in feasting rather than in ...
— Anecdotes of Dogs • Edward Jesse

... still looking at him. A bell chimed behind them, and Richard raised his head. Then he opened his eyes which wore for a second the queer look of a shortsighted person's whose spectacles are lost. It took him a moment to recover from the impropriety of having snored, and possibly grunted, before a young lady. To wake and find oneself left alone with one ...
— The Voyage Out • Virginia Woolf

... were only here—he'd like some, I know," she said, vaguely struggling with a sense of impropriety, though why, she did not know; for, on the surface, this was only dutiful hospitality to a distinguished guest. The impropriety probably lay in the sensations roused by this visit and this visitor. ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... their duties. The rector's bronchitis is intensified to a dangerous extent. Sabina Gallagher's red-haired cousin, whose name I've not yet been able to discover, is perfectly miserable. Poor old Callaghan, who means well, though he has a most puritanical dread of impropriety, is worn to a shadow. It rests with you whether this state of things is to continue or not. You and, so far as I can see at present, you alone, are in a position to arrange for the downfall of Simpkins. Is it or is it not your duty, your simple duty, to do what you can, even at the ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... difficult to get one alone," said Lady Harman, and suddenly an idea of the utmost daring and impropriety flashed into her mind. She was on the verge of speaking it forthwith and then didn't, she met something in his eye that answered her own and then Lady Beach-Mandarin was foaming over them like a dam-burst over an ...
— The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman • H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

... an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, ...
— The Farmer Boy, and How He Became Commander-In-Chief • Morrison Heady

... e.g., "the weeds 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 of it.] ...
— Introduction to the Old Testament • John Edgar McFadyen

... 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 ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... judge without prejudice, and to hear with honest ears and to see with honest eyes. The subject, moreover, on which I have written is one which, though great, is so universal in its bearings that it may be said to admit, without impropriety, of being handled by the unlearned as well as the learned; by those who have grown gray in the study of constitutional lore, and by those who have simply looked on at the government of men as we all look on at those matters which daily surround us. There are matters as to which a man should ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... very hard to bear, but Mary found herself compelled to bear it. She had determined not to be led into an argument with Mrs Baggett on the subject, feeling that even to discuss her conduct would be an impropriety. She was strong in her own conduct, and knew how utterly at variance it had been with all that this woman imputed to her. The glitter of the diamonds had been merely thrown in by Mrs Baggett in her passion. Mary did not think that any one would be so base as ...
— An Old Man's Love • Anthony Trollope

... great impropriety that has been practised in keeping gunpowder within the Tower; and the papers are blowing up the authorities with astounding violence for their alleged laxity. "Gunpowder," say the angry journalists, "ought only to be kept where there is no ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 1, November 20, 1841 • Various

... advantage. You remember Sir R. Payne's way of describing you, which was still more odd; he said if anybody looked through the keyhole at any time to see how you behaved when you was alone, that he was sure there would be no more impropriety in it than if you had a hundred eyes upon you. I don't like commending you myself, but I like to hear others do so, and especially when they speak about what they think, and when what they think has the air of ...
— George Selwyn: His Letters and His Life • E. S. Roscoe and Helen Clergue

... 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.' ...
— The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels • John Burgon

... the Indiana government. This time the committee reported that "the citizens of Clark county [in which was located the first Baptist church organized in Indiana], in their remonstrance, express their sense of the impropriety of the measure"; and that they also requested Congress not to act upon the subject until the people had an opportunity to formulate a State Constitution[16]. Commenting upon the whole proceedings, Dr. Peck quotes Gov. Harrison to the effect that, though he and Lemen ...
— The Jefferson-Lemen Compact • Willard C. MacNaul

... the right of public criticism| |of the courts on the theory that there | |can be no impropriety in investigating | |any act of a public official, Judge | |Kennesaw M. Landis last night addressed | |the students of Marquette College of Law | |and many members of the Milwaukee | |bar.—Milwaukee ...
— Newspaper Reporting and Correspondence - A Manual for Reporters, Correspondents, and Students of - Newspaper Writing • Grant Milnor Hyde

... is known as an infinite love, revealed in the mystery of man—I say before I begin, it is fitting that, in the absence of a common friend to do that office for me, I should introduce myself to your acquaintance, and I hope coming friendship. Nor can there be any impropriety in my telling you about myself, seeing I remain concealed behind my own words. You can never look me in the eyes, though you may look me in the soul. You may find me out, find my faults, my vanities, my sins, but you will not SEE me, at least in this world. To you I am but a voice of revealing, ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... fall: security is the tomb of liberty; indulgence toward men in authority is the means of pushing them to despotism. These maxims as her motto or impulse, united with the spirit of push, energy, and at times rashness and impropriety, naturally led her to her ruin in those days of revolutionary ideas. She was a woman of powerful passion controlled by reason, and with frankness, devotion, courage, and fidelity as forces impelling her to activity. But there ...
— Women of Modern France - Woman In All Ages And In All Countries • Hugo P. Thieme

... or geometricians that there cannot be two obtuse angles in a triangle. If this be their notion of the way in which the gospel is to be preached, we do not wonder that they have found it necessary to print a tract upon the impropriety of sleeping ...
— The Writings of James Russell Lowell in Prose and Poetry, Volume V - Political Essays • James Russell Lowell

... exquisite in the home of his 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 the same curious ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... with whom 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

... appeared not to 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

... she was just getting him to subscribe to some charity or something equally innocent. Still, it was queer. But I know her too well to suspect her of any impropriety. She's really the dearest, sweetest girl, Miss Huntress, and I'm the last person in the world to ...
— Jewel Weed • Alice Ames Winter

... impossible)' human nature could make itself sinless and perfect, it would become or pass into God; and if God should abstract from human nature all imperfection, it might without impropriety be affirmed, even as Scripture doth affirm, that God assumed or took up ...
— The Literary Remains Of Samuel Taylor Coleridge • Edited By Henry Nelson Coleridge

... I may grow to love you—God knows that a little affection would be a welcome change in my life—but I want you to know and know now, that all the love in the world will not change my decision as to the impropriety of a match between you and my son Oliver. That settled, there is no reason why all should not be clear ...
— Dark Hollow • Anna Katharine Green

... sexual appetite begins at first in a prudent and apparently innocent manner, so that the acting party does not risk being taxed with impropriety; but as soon as he who began the flirtation perceives that his slight invitations are welcome he grows bolder, a tacit mutual agreement is established, and the game continues without a single word ...
— The Sexual Question - A Scientific, psychological, hygienic and sociological study • August Forel

... in whom I had the most implicit confidence. I sent for him, and told him that Mr. and Mrs. Dodge had arrived in New York. I proposed that he should call upon them to make inquiries about his friends at the south, with whom Dr. Flint's family were well acquainted. He thought there was no impropriety in his doing so, and he consented. He went to the hotel, and knocked at the door of Mr. Dodge's room, which was opened by the gentleman himself, who gruffly inquired, "What brought you here? How came you to know I was in ...
— Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl - Written by Herself • Harriet Jacobs (AKA Linda Brent)

... the righteous king. The result was that a rigorous investigation was made into the whole affair; a great number of persons were tried for attempting the king's life by witchcraft; and that prince, undeterred by the apparent impropriety of being judge in what was, in reality, his own cause, presided at many of the trials, condescended to superintend the tortures applied to the accused in order to extort a confession, and even went so far in one case as to write a letter to ...
— Elizabethan Demonology • Thomas Alfred Spalding

... nobles. Poland, which is a mixture of aristocracy and of monarchy in their worst forms, has been dignified with the same appellation. The government of England, which has one republican branch only, combined with an hereditary aristocracy and monarchy, has, with equal impropriety, been frequently placed on the list of republics. These examples, which are nearly as dissimilar to each other as to a genuine republic, show the extreme inaccuracy with which the term has been used in ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... degree that they could not act upon anything that offered the least resistance. Beginning with the pepsinized books, they must continue with them, and the dull appetite by-and-by must be stimulated with a spice of vulgarity or a little pepper of impropriety. And fortunately for their nourishment in this kind, the dullest writers can ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... of the two courts is dissimilar," said De Rohan, with a shrug. "In Vienna, an archduchess is permitted to do that which, in Paris, would be considered an impropriety." ...
— Joseph II. and His Court • L. Muhlbach

... realization of the presence of the great tempter, I have been led to question very much the policy, not to say the lawfulness, of excluding that terrible foe as we do from our general discourse. It seems to be regarded a manifest impropriety to name him, except with the most studied circumlocution, as though we were afraid of treating him irreverently; and he who is seldom named will not often be thought of. Assuredly it is a great help to him in his countless devices to ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth

... hence be convinced of the impropriety of cherishing too hastily prejudices against any persons or things, since, however forbidding or useless they may at first sight appear, a more familiar acquaintance with them may discover those accomplishments or perfections which prejudice ...
— The Looking-Glass for the Mind - or Intellectual Mirror • M. Berquin

... man, "I am glad to perceive that you are brought to a proper sense of the impropriety of your conduct. I will not discharge you on this occasion, for the sake of your father, whom I have known for so many years: but never let this occur again. Dancing is at all times, to my mind, a very ...
— The Humourous Story of Farmer Bumpkin's Lawsuit • Richard Harris

... reason for you to fear that I shall impute any impropriety to you, if you attempt this refutation and proof; take heart, therefore, ...
— Sophist • Plato

... has happened is past. Bestowing not a thought on the conceited airs of that ass, I again sent him word by the eunuch, saying, 'if thou wilt not come to me now, by some means or other I will come to thee; but there is much impropriety in my coming there;—if this secret is discovered, thou wilt have cause to rue it; so do not act in a manner that will have no other result than disgrace; it is best that thou comest quickly [to me], otherwise imagine me arrived [near thee]. When ...
— Bagh O Bahar, Or Tales of the Four Darweshes • Mir Amman of Dihli

... liberty, together with the present trade of the stage, in all their miscelline interludes, what learned or liberal soul doth not already abhor? where nothing but the filth of the time is uttered, and with such impropriety of phrase, such plenty of solecisms, such dearth of sense, so bold prolepses, so racked metaphors, with brothelry, able to violate the ear of a pagan, and blasphemy, to turn the blood of a Christian to water. I cannot but be serious in a cause of this nature, wherein my ...
— Volpone; Or, The Fox • Ben Jonson

... and common-sense, has fully answered the expectations of the public. By acting up to the true spirit of this code he has reaped immense advantages from it. His advancement as a nation has been rapid beyond all calculation, and, young as he is, it may be remarked without any impropriety that he is now actually reading a salutary lesson to the ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... 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 a public school, and a scheme of education that becomes ...
— The School and the World • Victor Gollancz and David Somervell

... telling me, Florimel, what you mean by the impropriety of having secrets with another gentleman? Am ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... Evelyn," said he, smiling, "the impropriety did not in those cases, I presume, attach itself to the other quality. The graceful manner was strictly proper to its ends, was it not, however ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... his great age and his long services rendered due to him. The protege of the authorities failed; and, at the time, this result was attributed to the activity with which I enlightened the members of the Academy as to the impropriety of ...
— Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men • Francois Arago

... most disclaimers of this nature. When a writer begins by saying that he has "an ineradicable tendency to make things clear," we may infer that we are going to be puzzled; so when he shows that he is haunted by a sense of the impropriety of allowing humour to intrude into his work, we may hope to be amused as well as interested. As showing how far the objection to humour which he expressed upon his twenty-fifth page succeeded in carrying him safely over his twenty-sixth ...
— Selections from Previous Works - and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals • Samuel Butler

... one sat flabbergasted. The Master winced with annoyance; and then, 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 ...
— Collections and Recollections • George William Erskine Russell

... particular symbols, adopted by the various denominations of divided Christendom; 3. private symbols, such as have been formulated and published by individuals, for example, Luther's Confession of the Lord's Supper of 1528. The publication of private confessions does not necessarily involve an impropriety; for according to Matt. 10, 32 33 and 1 Pet. 3, 15 not only the Church as a whole, but individual Christians as well are privileged and in duty bound to confess the Christian truth over against its public assailants. Self-evidently, only such are symbols of particular ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... revealing an indifference to her feelings and a contempt for her position. In the household, she is not permitted to eat with him; she must wait upon his lordship and take the leavings of his meal. Upon a journey, it would be gross impropriety for her to walk by his side. Etiquette demands that she walk behind him at a respectable distance of, say, ...
— India, Its Life and Thought • John P. Jones

... that the people of New Jersey will make some remonstrances at this indignity put upon them. You are full as well acquainted with the character and principles of this person as myself, and are as able to judge of the impropriety of such an appointment. What a dishonor and a disgrace it must be to a country to have such a man at the head of it, and to sit down contented. I should hope that some effort will be made before our Jersey friends would put up with such an insult. If any ...
— Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago - American Pioneers and Patriots Series • John S. C. Abbott

... was to be made of the papers, Gallatin did not and could not reply. Mr. Gallatin answered that whether the House had a discretionary power, or whether it was bound by the instrument, there was no impropriety in calling for the papers. He hoped to have avoided the constitutional question in the motion, but as the gentlemen had come forward on that ground, he had no objection to rest the decision of the constitutional power of Congress on the fate of the present question. He would ...
— Albert Gallatin - American Statesmen Series, Vol. XIII • John Austin Stevens

... 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 ourselves ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... expose the impropriety of a foreign minister demanding from the Administration an explanation of words uttered in debate in Congress, and also said that he supposed that the British had no claim to the territory in question. Mr. Canning rejoined, and referred to the sending out of the American ship of war Ontario, ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... 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, and, ...
— U.S. Presidential Inaugural Addresses • Various

... "On the impropriety of getting tipsy—on the beauty of temperance? That is dreary work for a pretty young girl. No," Felix continued; "Clifford ought to frequent some agreeable woman, who, without ever mentioning such ...
— The Europeans • Henry James

... afternoon in walking with his dog on Cullerne Flat, he would receive "The Tishbite's Warning, a Discourse showing the Necessity of a Proper Observance of the Lord's Day." Did a pig-tailed hoyden giggle at the Grammar School boys from her pew in the minster, the impropriety was reported by ...
— The Nebuly Coat • John Meade Falkner

... a difficult matter to persuade grown persons of the impropriety of attending fairs, who have been accustomed to it when children; but children are easily persuaded from it; for if they are properly entertained at school, they will not have the least desire to go ...
— The Infant System - For Developing the Intellectual and Moral Powers of all Children, - from One to Seven years of Age • Samuel Wilderspin

... which had struck her, had proceeded from a general wish to have her settled, rather than from any desire to see her united to any particular individual. These thoughts, however, she kept secret; for self-respect and feminine reserve showed her the impropriety of making them the subject of discussion with her present companion. By way of changing the conversation, therefore, after the pause had lasted long enough to be embarrassing to both parties, she said, "Of one thing you may be certain, Jasper,—and that is all I wish to say on the subject,—Lieutenant ...
— The Pathfinder - The Inland Sea • James Fenimore Cooper

... his case, that passion arises in our breast from the imagination, though it does not in his from the reality. We blush for the impudence and rudeness of another, though he himself appears to have no sense of the impropriety of his own behavior, because we cannot help feeling with what confusion we ourselves should be covered, had we behaved in so absurd ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... you more carefully examine her side of the question. Her bankers, the Messrs. Baring, will answer for her presence whenever you desire. My banker will answer for her. The American Minister will satisfy you of the strong impropriety of any other proceeding. Oh! sir, in the name of a mother's breaking heart—in the name of sweet girlish innocence—in the name of God, believe what I say! If you err, err on the side of mercy. Think, when you lay your head this night ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 1 January 1848 • Various

... impropriety of long continued suckling, it will, perhaps, be proper to state my opinion as to the period when this process should terminate. As a general rule, at nine months after birth the child ought to be entirely ...
— Remarks on the Subject of Lactation • Edward Morton

... by the importance of this question, he said many things which cannot be set before the eyes of a generation sensitive to plainness of speech, and only tolerant of it in suggestions of impropriety. ...
— Barlasch of the Guard • H. S. Merriman

... which lust in liberty, together with the present trade of the stage, in all their masculine interludes, what liberal soul doth not abhor? Where nothing but filth of the mire is uttered, and that with such impropriety of phrase, such plenty of solecisms, such dearth of sense, so bold prolepses, such racked metaphors, with (indecency) able to violate the ear of a Pagan, and blasphemy to turn the blood ...
— Plays and Puritans - from "Plays and Puritans and Other Historical Essays" • Charles Kingsley

... my duty to beg pardon once more," said the incorrigible. "But you might have been talking on that subject, you know, without any impropriety. The religious aspects of the country are deplorable!" throwing up his hands and eyes in no bad imitation of Aminadab Sleek. "Do ...
— Shoulder-Straps - A Novel of New York and the Army, 1862 • Henry Morford

... 'The impropriety and impolicy of manumitting slaves, in any case, in our country, one would suppose, must be apparent to all. It is not a little astonishing that individuals acquainted with the facts, and the evils brought upon society by the free black population, should persist in declaring ...
— Thoughts on African Colonization • William Lloyd Garrison

... be tedious to trace the steps and winding ways by which Abel Bones led his victim from one piece of impropriety to another—always concealing his real character, and playing the role of an unfortunate man, willing to work, but unable to find employment—until he almost had him ...
— Post Haste • R.M. Ballantyne

... expressed some compunction at our stay, I was at once silenced by the remark that his mother was a woman of marked idiosyncracies, and when she so distinguished an individual as to make them a guest the decision was final, and I must not wound her by an expression of possible impropriety. It is needless to say I left this family with deep regret, carrying letters from Doctor Roseborough; and in my visits to the various places en route to Montreal I found these credentials ...
— The World As I Have Found It - Sequel to Incidents in the Life of a Blind Girl • Mary L. Day Arms

... little defence against this reproach; I should require more justification if I decided without a perfect knowledge of causes, for one side of the question, at the risk of embracing an error, and of falling into a still greater impropriety. There is wisdom in suspending one's judgment till we have succeeded in ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... my relatives—also CAPTAIN M-L-SW-RTH—as to whether there would be any impropriety in giving a reply to your questions, I am happy to say that they seem to think there would be none, but that on the contrary it might even assist the takings at the Aquarium. I may therefore mention that ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 100, May 2, 1891 • Various

... understood, most of the criticisms of Rhymer and Voltaire vanish away. The play of Hamlet is opened, without impropriety, by two sentinels; Iago bellows at Brabantio's window, without injury to the scheme of the play, though in terms which a modern audience would not easily endure; the character of Polonius is seasonable and useful; ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... you who know I prefer a roast potatoe and salt to the most splendid public dinner, the very sight of which always offends my infant appetite, I need not say that I am actuated solely by my pre-engagement, and by the impropriety of disappointing the friend whom I am to accompany, and to whom probably I owe the unexpected compliment of ...
— Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey • Joseph Cottle

... this, the father assumed an air of such fearlessness and calm authority, that the young lawyer, surprised and overawed, forbore, as he had intended, to snatch the letter from his hand, and confined himself to bitter complaints of the impropriety of his conduct, and of the light in which he himself must be placed to Redgauntlet should he present him a letter with a ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... shrink from being guilty of a great impropriety, should ever prolong his visits beyond ten o'clock, unless it be the common custom of the family to remain up and to entertain visitors to a later hour, and the visit paid is a family one and not a ...
— Our Deportment - Or the Manners, Conduct and Dress of the Most Refined Society • John H. Young

... of my—my esteem that I am so. Though I live here in what was my father's house, I live here alone. I have, alas! no longer a parent—a parent, whose presence might sanction your visits. It is unnecessary for me to point out the impropriety of my ...
— The Mysteries of Udolpho • Ann Radcliffe

... nothing more said about the shoes, and I was soon again at my ease, although Miss O'Conor did say something about the impropriety of Larry walking about in his stocking feet. The ladies however soon withdrew,—to my sorrow, for I was getting on swimmingly with Fanny; and then we gentlemen gathered round the fire and ...
— The O'Conors of Castle Conor from Tales from all Countries • Anthony Trollope

... months' time, she should see Alice, whom she was prepared to receive and to love as a sister) I scaled it, and gave it to the servant who was just setting off for the post town. She wrote a few lines also to Mrs. Tracy, in which she expressed, in severe terms, her sense of the impropriety, if not of the guilt of her conduct with respect to her own grandchild, as well as with regard to a family, whose indignation she could not but feel that she had justly incurred. Her letter to her father she did not communicate to ...
— Ellen Middleton—A Tale • Georgiana Fullerton

... Joshua Benny, "has been defined as a gift of saying anything, of striking any note in the scale of human feelings, without impropriety. We cannot all have distinction, Mr. Parker—what I may call the je ne ...
— Shining Ferry • Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... is making a 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, whether Victoria or Eugenie would do as much by him, if she ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 25, November, 1859 • Various

... himself a lost sinner, and never knew his need of the Saviour, may reason gravely of the impropriety of 'excitement,' and the man who has never experienced the liberty of deliverance from the 'horrible pit, and the mire and clay,' may seem to be wise on the subject of Christian joy; but he knows it not. The ...
— From Death into Life - or, twenty years of my ministry • William Haslam

... 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 press ...
— The Descent of Man and Other Stories • Edith Wharton

... was such a good looking young man, is not evident. Doubtless it was true that at first her misery and unhappiness made her need the sympathetic caresses of any one within reach and that with the return of her equilibrium she continued to make this an excuse for enjoying without any reproach of impropriety a recreation which ordinarily the conventions of society would compel her to eschew. As for the rising light in the legal profession, he began to find the weight she leant upon him oppressive, and his occupation, delightful at first, ...
— The Strange Adventures of Mr. Middleton • Wardon Allan Curtis

... the practice of some particular branch of the healing art, the specialist sees no impropriety in acquainting the public with his ability to relieve certain forms of suffering. He believes that medical men should possess equal rights with other business men, and that any code of medical ethics which would deprive him of any of the sacred rights guaranteed to all by ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... great latitude in introducing animals, or whatever they might think necessary to contrast or make the composition more picturesque—we can no longer wonder why the poet has thought it worth setting a guard against this impropriety, when we find that such men as Raffaelle and the Caracci, in their greatest and most serious works, have introduced on the foreground mean and frivolous circumstances. Such improprieties, to do justice to the more modern painters, are seldom found in their works. The only excuse that can be ...
— Rembrandt and His Works • John Burnet

... respecting the impropriety of being disheartened—the demand of the Indians on our church, and candidates for missionary service—the necessity of withdrawing our dependence for success and the work of converting men, from any particular human instruments, and placing them on God alone; and the propriety ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... Religious parody seems to have carried no sense of impropriety with it to the minds of the men of the 15th and 16th centuries. Luther was an adept in this art, and the preachers who followed him continued the practice. The sermons of divines in the following century often sought an attraction by quaint titles, such as—"Heaven ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... yawns for the person who always does the proper thing. Impropriety, in right proportion, relieves congestion, and thus are the unities preserved. And so here the great Law of Compensation, invented by Ralph Waldo Emerson, comes in: The sane, healthy man, who occasionally strips off his dignity and hoots ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great - Volume 14 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians • Elbert Hubbard

... to say, smiling, "I expected, my dear, that your delicacy, and Miss Darnford's too, would be shocked on this preposterous occasion. I never saw this play, rake as I was, but the impropriety of the epilogue sent me away dissatisfied with it, and with human nature too: and you only see, by this one instance, what a character that of an actor or actress is, and how capable they are to personate any thing for ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... maybe, saunter occasionally to the open door or window, to look at something which has attracted their attention, or to exchange greetings with a passing friend. All this is done with a freedom that speaks for itself of their utter unconsciousness of any impropriety in their conduct. ...
— Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs • J. M. W. Silver

... did not notice her or any of her children. There was in her bosom a terrible determination to cast a devil out of the one she best loved. For this purpose, heedless of all pain to be given, or of impropriety, she had come to speak publicly, and disgrace and humiliate, that she might save him from the devils that ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... acquired. This circumstance would have mattered little if he had been accredited to some dissolute court, such as that in which the Marchioness of Montespan had lately been dominant. But there was an obvious impropriety in sending him on an embassy rather of a spiritual than of a secular nature to a pontiff of primitive austerity. The Protestants all over Europe sneered; and Innocent, already unfavourably disposed to the English government, considered ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 2 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... suspect the real object of Olmedo, and was much inclined to have made him a prisoner: but Duero, who had much influence over Narvaez, both on account of his situation and because they were in some degree related, represented the impropriety of such an outrage against a person of his holy functions, and dissuaded him from doing so. He also suggested to him the great probability of his being able to gain over the soldiers of Cortes to his party, by means of a little policy. By these arguments he appeased Narvaez ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. IV. • Robert Kerr

... persons of distinction had come there in his train. Even the lower class of citizens ceased to follow the unhappy Prince, whose former indifferent reputation had exposed him to so many charges of impropriety and levity, and around whom there seemed now darkening suspicions of ...
— The Fair Maid of Perth • Sir Walter Scott

... in regard to another extreme. When a lady of wealth, is seen roaming about in search of cheaper articles, or trying to beat down a shopkeeper, or making a close bargain with those she employs, the impropriety is glaring to all minds. A person of wealth has no occasion to spend time in looking for extra cheap articles; her time could be more profitably employed in distributing to the wants of others. And the practice of beating down tradespeople, ...
— A Treatise on Domestic Economy - For the Use of Young Ladies at Home and at School • Catherine Esther Beecher

... permit 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 these changes were apparent to her, and ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII. No. 5. May 1848 • Various

... and Gillen, Northern Tribes of Central Australia, p. 581.) In the mysterious region of sex, this feeling easily takes root. In many parts of the world, men use among themselves, and women use among themselves, words and even languages which they may not use without impropriety in speaking to persons of the opposite sex, and it has been shown that exogamy, or the fact that the wife belongs to a different tribe, will not always account for this phenomenon. (Crawley, The Mystic Rose, p. 46.) A special vocabulary ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 1 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... injustice of the government, and the weak, truckling spirit of the sister-churches. But her judgement was more calm and dispassionate than that of Roger, and her temper far less excitable. She therefore saw the impropriety, as well as the danger, of, causing a schism in the church; and she used all her powerful influence to induce her husband to give up these irregular assemblies; and, without compromising his own opinions, to endeavor to ward off the enmity of the ...
— The Pilgrims of New England - A Tale Of The Early American Settlers • Mrs. J. B. Webb

... making, the quotation points may be used or not, as the writer pleases; but not on their insertion or omission, nor even on the quality of the separating point, depends in all cases the propriety or impropriety of using initial capitals. For example: "The Future Tense is the form of the verb which denotes future time; as, John will come, you shall go, they will learn, the sun will rise to-morrow, he will return next week."—Frazee's Improved Gram., p. 38; Old Edition, 35. To say ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... at the time of the unfortunate battle of Cressy, "although it does not belong to us to judge. But what we see we testify to; for pride was very great in France, and especially amongst the nobles and others, that is to say, pride of nobility, and covetousness. There was also much impropriety in dress, and this extended throughout the whole of France. Some had their clothes so short and so tight that it required the help of two persons to dress and undress them, and whilst they were being undressed they appeared ...
— Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period • Paul Lacroix

... here. Nevertheless, as I have had frequent opportunities of noticing the disease under all circumstances; in all parts of the city, and in the country; among the wealthy and the poor, I may without much impropriety offer, in a few words, the result of my observations and reflections on this head. I must unhesitatingly declare, that, establishing my opinion on what I have seen, I am led to the conviction, that the yellow fever is not a contagious disease; that it never has been carried hither in the way ...
— North American Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1826 • Various

... the way to render my desire impossible of fulfilment would be, to find fault with what in her was a very small affair, whatever it might be in one who had been properly brought up. Besides, a clergyman is not a moral policeman. So I took no notice of the impropriety. ...
— Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood • George MacDonald

... discrepancy for the sake of discrepancy. But a person who conscientiously believes that free inquiry is, on the whole, beneficial to the interests of truth, and that, from the imperfection of the human faculties, wherever there is much free inquiry there will be some discrepancy, may, without impropriety, consider such discrepancy, though in itself an evil, as a sign of good. That there are ten thousand thieves in London is a very melancholy fact. But, looked at in one point of view, it is a reason for exultation. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... beginning to be said of the probability that the women will withdraw from agricultural labor. A conviction of the impropriety of females engaging in such employments is gradually forming in the minds of ...
— The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus • American Anti-Slavery Society

... not always of the most complimentary nature, were sometimes loud and frequent. We have seen the son on such occasions always the first to smile at his father's petulance, and the last to express any sense of the impropriety of the interruption. We have seen the old gentleman, in the midst of his son's argument, write to the opposing counsel suggesting authorities and giving references and precedents against him, all with the most perfect good humour on both sides; and the greatest triumph he could ...
— A Sketch of the Life of the late Henry Cooper - Barrister-at-Law, of the Norfolk Circuit; as also, of his Father • William Cooper

... was beating the South. It conquered and admired. After the defeat of the Armada, Castilian was considered in the halls of Elizabeth to be elegant court talk. To speak English in the palace of the Queen of England was held almost an impropriety. Partially to adopt the manners of those upon whom we impose our laws is the habit of the conquering barbarian towards conquered civilization. The Tartar contemplates and imitates the Chinese. It was thus Castilian fashions ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... N. solecism; bad grammar, false grammar, faulty grammar; slip of the pen, slip of the tongue; lapsus linguae [Lat.]; slipslop^; bull; barbarism, impropriety. V. use bad grammar, faulty grammar; solecize^, commit a solecism; murder the King's English, murder the Queen's English, break Priscian's head. Adj. ungrammatical; incorrect, inaccurate; faulty; improper, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... temporary celebrity," he admits. "This was the triumph of wit and eloquence of style. To the age next succeeding it is probable that her name will be nearly unknown; for the calamities of her life so miserably prove the impropriety of her doctrines that it becomes a point of charity to close the volume treating of the Rights of Women with mingled wonder ...
— Mary Wollstonecraft • Elizabeth Robins Pennell

... constantly thrown in his face by the Duchess Matilda, dragged her by the hair, tied to his horse's tail, as far as the suburb of Vaucelles; and this legend accounts for the splendour of the Abbaye-aux-Dames, because William, the common people believed, afterwards regretted the impropriety, and atoned for it by giving her money to build the abbey. The story betrays the man's weakness. The Abbaye-aux-Dames stands in the same relation to the Abbaye-aux-Hommes that Matilda took towards William. Inferiority ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... but it is not all; precisely the same may be affirmed of 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 ...
— The Civilization Of China • Herbert A. Giles

... of man who is the first to take that law and order into his own hands when he does not find it existing to please him. He had a Bostonian's respect for respectability, tradition, and propriety, but was willing to face irregularity and impropriety to create order elsewhere. He was fond of Nature with these limitations, never quite trusting her unguided instincts, and finding her as an instructress greatly inferior to Harvard University, though ...
— Snow-Bound at Eagle's • Bret Harte

... himself was Adlerstein Wildschloss that all this did not stagger him; for, even if he had believed more than he did of the old lady's story, there would have been no sense of intrusion or impropriety in such a visit to the mother. Indeed, had Christina been living in the civilized world, her chamber would have been hung with black cloth, black velvet would have enveloped her up to the eyes, and the blackest of cradles would have stood ready for ...
— The Dove in the Eagle's Nest • Charlotte M. Yonge

... For where there is advantage to be given,/ Both more and less have given him the revolt] The impropriety of the expression, advantage to be given, and the disagreeable repetition of the word given in the next ...
— Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies • Samuel Johnson

... 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 ...
— What Necessity Knows • Lily Dougall

... in the Tank involuntarily applauded: becoming immediately sensible of the impropriety, he poked the fire, and extinguished the ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 • Charles H. Sylvester

... and Marshman prayed in Bengali. After this we went under an open shed close to the house, where chairs and mats were provided: here friends and neighbours sat all around. Brother Carey sat at a table; and after a short introduction, in which he explained the nature of marriage, and noticed the impropriety of the Hindoo customs in this respect, he read 2 Cor. vi. 14-18, and also the account of the marriage at Cana. Then he read the printed marriage agreement, at the close of which Krishna Prosad and Onunda, with joined hands, ...
— The Life of William Carey • George Smith

... comfortable as the very narrow seats would permit us to be, before most of the audience arrived. The house filled, and we sat at our ease, feeling our importance, and quite unconscious that we were guilty of any impropriety. While the curtain was down, I heard a voice behind me say to the gentleman who was with us, 'Is the lady on your left with you?'—'Yes,' said Mr. R.—'She wears a bonnet, which is not according to rule.'—'Too late now,' said Mr. R.—'It is my fault,' ...
— Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals • Maria Mitchell

... family of Este, and Lucca to the Florentines. But in taking possession of these cities, many disputes arose which were afterward in a great measure settled by the Venetians. Some, perhaps, will think it a species of impropriety that we have so long deferred speaking of the Venetians, theirs being a republic, which, both on account of its power and internal regulations, deserves to be celebrated above any principality of Italy. But that this surprise may cease when the cause is known, I shall speak ...
— History Of Florence And Of The Affairs Of Italy - From The Earliest Times To The Death Of Lorenzo The Magnificent • Niccolo Machiavelli

... conversation, but he had the faculty, so invaluable in society, of composure and imperturbable self-possession. If a man lacking in self-confidence remains dumb on a first introduction and betrays a consciousness of the impropriety of such silence and an anxiety to find something to say, the effect is bad. But Anatole was dumb, swung his foot, and smilingly examined the princess' hair. It was evident that he could be silent in this ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... from what I heard you state in your speech the other day that you feel as I do in regard to such matters, I take the liberty of suggesting that it seems to me of very great importance that the management of this magnificent gift should be in proper hands. May I ask you without impropriety if you will protect Mr. Parsons so that captious or unenthusiastic persons, men or women, will be unable to control the policy of his hospital? He would wish it so, I am sure. I thought of mentioning the matter to ...
— Unleavened Bread • Robert Grant

... girl" trick. Somehow I couldn't. But I said nothing. 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 ...
— Chance - A Tale in Two Parts • Joseph Conrad

... are only what I should expect from you, my love; but think twice before you go up-stairs yourself! It would be considered an outrageous impropriety, were it found out." ...
— At Last • Marion Harland

... really think so. The whole history of the 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 ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... point of marrying, of her own disillusionment, and confidentially advised her to remain single. This letter, however, was not sent, for the Comtesse de Listomere-Landon, aunt of Julie d'Aiglemont by marriage, having found out about it, discouraged such an impropriety on the part of her niece. Unlike her friend, Madame de Wimphen married happily. She retained the confidence of Madame d'Aiglemont, and was present, indeed, at the important interview between Julie and Lord Grenville. After M. de Wimphen's arrival to accompany ...
— Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A — Z • Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe

... the world gave me little advantage for that purpose. Beside this, I had been accustomed to view Mr. Collins with considerable attachment, and I conceived from the nature of his situation that there could be small impropriety in making him my confident in the present instance. I repeated to him minutely every thing that had passed, and concluded with a solemn declaration that, though treated with caprice, I was not anxious for myself; no inconvenience or danger should ever lead me to a pusillanimous behaviour; ...
— Caleb Williams - Things As They Are • William Godwin

... Vanstone's character which Miss Garth, after many years of intimate experience, had never detected, she accepted the explanation as a matter of course; receiving it all the more readily inasmuch as it might, without impropriety, be communicated in substance to appease the irritated curiosity of the two young ladies. For this reason especially she perused the first half of the letter with an agreeable sense of relief. Far different was the impression produced on her when she advanced to the second half, and when ...
— No Name • Wilkie Collins

... after winning a First Prize as a General's property and then win nothing at all as a common Officer's or junior civilian's, until bought again by a Big Pot. Then it sweeps the board. I don't for one second dream of accusing Judges of favouritism or impropriety any kind, but I'm convinced that the glory of a brass-bound owner casts a halo about his horse that dazzles and blinds the average rough-rider, stud-groom and cavalry-sergeant, and don't improve the eyesight of some of ...
— Driftwood Spars - The Stories of a Man, a Boy, a Woman, and Certain Other People Who - Strangely Met Upon the Sea of Life • Percival Christopher Wren

... confound together the king's abusing his power, and his withdrawing from the kingdom; and they called the whole an abdication; as if he had given a virtual, though not a verbal, consent to dethroning himself. The tories took advantage of this obvious impropriety, which had been occasioned merely by the complaisance or prudence of the whigs; and they insisted upon the word desertion, as more significant and intelligible. It was retorted on them, that, however that expression might be justly applied to ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.I., Part F. - From Charles II. to James II. • David Hume

... treasure, he has incurred one hundred and twenty thousand francs of debt. He has had the folly to get himself locked up in Saint-Pelagie, the debtor's prison; an impropriety which will always be, in these days, a discredit to him. A spendthrift who is willing to plunge his poor mother into poverty and distress might cause his wife, as your poor father ...
— Ursula • Honore de Balzac

... priests we can offer a charming variety, Far renowned for larning and piety; Still, I'd advance you, widout impropriety, Father O'Flynn as the flower ...
— A Celtic Psaltery • Alfred Perceval Graves

... anything earthly. Do not fear; I shall not profane it by description; it was beautiful exceedingly. All that I had ever seen or dreamed of loveliness was in that matchless living picture by the hand of the Divine Artist. So deeply did it move me that, without a thought of the impropriety of the act, I unconsciously bared my head, as a devout Catholic or well-bred Protestant uncovers before an image of the Blessed Virgin. The maiden showed no displeasure; she merely turned her glorious dark eyes upon me with a look that made ...
— Can Such Things Be? • Ambrose Bierce

... the divine authority of the Bible. He went through the whole debate, which lasted several days, without uttering one uncharitable, scornful, or angry word, with the exception of a single phrase in his last speech; and even that he meekly and generously recalled, after I had satisfied him of its impropriety. I never forgot the conduct of that dear good man, and his Christian meekness and forbearance had a good effect on ...
— Modern Skepticism: A Journey Through the Land of Doubt and Back Again - A Life Story • Joseph Barker

... disposed we treated with them, and they gave us everything we asked of them. They all go as naked as they were born, without being ashamed. If all were to be related concerning the little shame they have, it would be bordering on impropriety; therefore it is better to ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 8 - The Later Renaissance: From Gutenberg To The Reformation • Editor-in-Chief: Rossiter Johnson

... both to a realization of the utter impropriety of her overhearing all this, and the danger of detection, slipped from the dressing-room by the hall door, and so escaped ...
— The Beloved Woman • Kathleen Norris

... Indians suppose that they originally sprang from a dog; and about five years ago a superstitious fanatic so strongly impressed upon their minds the impropriety of employing these animals, to which they were related, for purposes of labour that they universally resolved against using them any more and, strange as it may seem, destroyed them. They now have to drag everything ...
— The Journey to the Polar Sea • John Franklin

... 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 achieved an impropriety of the first magnitude; that success, however, but showed us the platitude returning ...
— A Small Boy and Others • Henry James

... John Russell's explanation respecting the brevet promotions on the occasion of her visit to Ireland, but cannot say that his objections have convinced her of the impropriety of such a promotion (to a limited extent). To Lord John's fears of the dangerous consequences of the precedent, the Queen has only to answer, that there can be only one first visit to Ireland, and that the first visit to Scotland in ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Vol 2 (of 3), 1844-1853 • Queen Victoria



Words linked to "Impropriety" :   indecency, wrongness, misbehavior, behavior, misdeed, properness, deportment, inappropriateness, behaviour, condition, indecorousness, propriety, misbehaviour, liberty, status, demeanor, incorrectness, indelicacy, conduct, obscenity, demeanour



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