decent

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

Definition of decent

1 archaic

b : well-formed : handsome
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 : marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill hard-working and decent folks it's very decent of them to help

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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

The sound coming from the Mi Laser Projector is relatively decent, with minimal bass. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Xiaomi made a 150-inch $2,000 projector that’s available exclusively at Walmart," 16 Nov. 2018 Although the crab season has started slow, this summer’s harvest numbers could still be decent. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "After July Fourth crab feasts, an uncertain season for Maryland seafood industry," 6 July 2018 During the fireworks, a light breeze from the southeast at 5 to 10 mph should be enough to disperse the smoke so that visibility is decent. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Detailed July 4 forecast for D.C. area: The swelter takes a small step back," 3 July 2018 The offense has been decent during that stretch, averaging 3.9 runs per game, but the pitching staff has posted a 4.50 ERA. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Game Day: Diamondbacks travel to Pittsburgh to face Pirates," 20 June 2018 Named after the South Side’s investigative journalist and anti-lynching crusader, the project opened in 1941, promising decent, affordable housing and a path to middle-class life to families that had left the South during the Great Migration. Jennifer Gonnerman, The New Yorker, "How One Woman’s Fight to Save Her Family Helped Lead to a Mass Exoneration," 19 May 2018 Handling was decent as well, with quick and sure steering response. G. Chambers Williams Iii, star-telegram, "C-HR brings small crossover entry to Toyota lineup, starting at $22,500 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Apr. 2018 The Mark Zuckerberg portrayed here is brilliant, driven, decent, hopelessly naive about human motivations and entirely unwilling to take warnings seriously. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "Politics: The Government We ‘Like’," 22 Feb. 2019 There is a decent chance that issuing an ultimatum will actually make things worse. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "5 Helpful Things to Say to a Friend Who Self-Harms (and 3 to Avoid)," 1 Mar. 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 1a

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

17 Apr 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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