decency

noun

de·​cen·​cy ˈdē-sᵊn-sē How to pronounce decency (audio)
plural decencies
1
a
: the quality or state of being decent : propriety
b
: conformity to standards of taste, propriety, or quality
2
: standard of propriety
usually used in plural
3
decencies plural : conditions or services considered essential for a proper standard of living
4
: literary decorum
5
archaic
a

Examples of decency in a Sentence

Decency, not fear of punishment, caused them to do the right thing. Sending aid to the victims was simply a matter of common decency. If you're going to be late, please have the decency to call and let me know. Have you no sense of decency? He had been taught to observe the ordinary decencies.
Recent Examples on the Web Their response, in the last days of liberal decency, answered a nation’s need, not elitist tyranny. Armond White, National Review, 5 June 2024 Sides’s compulsively readable 16th-century history is about the gulf between decency and a boss’s orders. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 5 June 2024 The son of a social worker and librarian became a beacon for education and empathy, decency and grace. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 May 2024 Galileo faces the brutality of the Church at a time when science and reason and decency were often made to heel at the foot of brute force. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for decency 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decency.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 5a

Time Traveler
The first known use of decency was in 1567

Dictionary Entries Near decency

Cite this Entry

“Decency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decency. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

decency

noun
de·​cen·​cy ˈdēs-ᵊn-sē How to pronounce decency (audio)
plural decencies
1
a
: the quality or state of being decent : propriety
b
: agreement with standards of taste, quality, or proper behavior
decency, not fear of punishment, made them behave
2
: a standard of proper behavior
usually used in plural
had been taught to observe the ordinary decencies

More from Merriam-Webster on decency

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