decent

adjective
de·​cent | \ ˈdē-sᵊnt How to pronounce decent (audio) \

Definition of decent

1 : marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill hard-working and decent folks it's very decent of them to help
2a : conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality decent behavior
b : modestly clothed
3 : free from immodesty or obscenity decent language
4 : fairly good : adequate, satisfactory decent wages

5 archaic

b : well-formed : handsome

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Other Words from decent

decently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for decent

chaste, pure, modest, decent mean free from all taint of what is lewd or salacious. chaste primarily implies a refraining from acts or even thoughts or desires that are not virginal or not sanctioned by marriage vows. they maintained chaste relations pure differs from chaste in implying innocence and absence of temptation rather than control of one's impulses and actions. the pure of heart modest and decent apply especially to deportment and dress as outward signs of inward chastity or purity. preferred more modest swimsuits decent people didn't go to such movies

Examples of decent in a Sentence

Not long afterward, his father's health starts to fail. Mrs. Queenan has kicked him out, and he's landed in a flophouse. When word reaches Joe, he takes out his checkbook and moves his father into a decent apartment. — James McManus, New York Times Book Review, 26 Apr. 2009 In a whiney, rambling speech at his sentencing he took a page from the script of the earlier case, once again portraying himself as a flawed but decent man unfairly caught up in circumstances. — Bill Hewitt et al., People, 22 Dec. 2008 Tommy Railles, the doctor's boy. Just a great kid. Smart at school, a decent athlete, great with the girls, wonderful with older people. — Ward Just, Forgetfulness, (2006) 2007 The next time an overly friendly blond sidles up in a crowded bar and asks you to order her a brand-name martini, or a cheery tourist couple wonder whether you can take their picture with their sleek new camera-in-a-cell phone, you might want to think twice. There's a decent chance that these strangers are pitchmen in disguise, paid to oh-so-subtly pique your interest in their product. — Paul McFedries, Word Spy, 2004 I don't understand how so decent a person could be involved with this kind of crime. He is a decent guy who would help anyone in need. You need to do the decent thing and tell her what happened. Are there any decent schools in that area? I've got to get some decent clothes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Its luxury saloons remain desirable and returns have been decent with Mr Krüger in the driving seat. The Economist, "BMW tries to turn a corner—and loses its boss," 7 July 2019 Best of all, Jaguar redesigned the XE's door panels, which no longer intrude on passenger space and actually offer a decent amount of storage. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Jaguar XE sports sedan is a fine feline with animal spirit performance," 6 July 2019 That means the odds are decent that there could be another aftershock of magnitude 5 or greater at some point. Alejandra Reyes-velarde, latimes.com, "Earthquake aftershocks could last months or even years, scientists say," 5 July 2019 Despite the lack of geographic diversity, a Jim’s dining room is usually a decent mix of colors and backgrounds. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Pondering what makes Jim’s Jim’s," 4 July 2019 As far as noise-cancelling goes, the Dimension does a decent job, nearly matching the silence induced by headphones from Sony, Bose, or Marshall. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "We Tried Dolby's $600 Dimension Headphones. Are They Worth the Massive Price Tag?," 2 July 2019 The facial had clearly added necessary hydration to my skin, which drank in a decent amount of wine in the days following the procedure. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "I Tried Sephora’s PERK Facial And This Is What Happened To My Face," 11 June 2019 While the rate of growth remains decent and unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years, the Fed is fighting stubbornly weak inflation. Jeanna Smialek, BostonGlobe.com, "Fed officials make case for cutting interest rates," 21 June 2019 To get the stress and uncertainty over with, you might be tempted to take the first halfway-decent offer an employer puts on the table, without pausing to explore possible ways the company could sweeten the pot. Anne Fisher, Fortune, "How to Negotiate a Job Offer," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decent

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 5a

History and Etymology for decent

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin decent-, decens, present participle of decēre to be fitting; akin to Latin decus honor, dignus worthy, Greek dokein to seem, seem good

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Statistics for decent

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decent

The first known use of decent was in 1539

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More Definitions for decent

decent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of decent

: polite, moral, and honest
somewhat informal : showing kindness : seeming to care about the feelings or problems of other people
: good enough but not the best : adequate or acceptable

decent

adjective
de·​cent | \ ˈdē-sᵊnt How to pronounce decent (audio) \

Kids Definition of decent

1 : meeting an accepted standard of good manners or morality Do the decent thing and confess.
2 : being moral and good She was raised by decent folks.
3 : not offensive decent language
4 : fairly good decent grades

Other Words from decent

decently adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on decent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decent

Spanish Central: Translation of decent

Nglish: Translation of decent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decent for Arabic Speakers

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