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 According to Football Outsiders’ offensive line metrics, the Crimson Tide line has been decent at preventing sacks but elite at moving the line of scrimmage for additional rushing yards. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "With Tommy Togiai out, who steps up for Ohio State football against Alabama in the national championship?," 11 Jan. 2021 What if the New York Knicks were even decent this year? Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Andy Larsen’s NBA season preview," 19 Dec. 2020 The actress, who died on Tuesday at age 82 of causes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), told PEOPLE that the censors would come to filmings to ensure that the wardrobes were decent. Steve Helling,, "Dawn Wells Revealed Her Wardrobe Was Censored on Gilligan’s Island: ‘My Belly Button Was an Issue’," 30 Dec. 2020 Sound is well balanced and not overly bass heavy while still delivering some punch, and battery life is decent, if not great at about five hours of listening. Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica, "The best accessories and MagSafe gear for your new iPhone 12," 29 Dec. 2020 The only real dangers are other people, who may or may not have decided to be decent in dystopia. Washington Post, "A new TV version of ‘The Stand’ pits good against evil after a deadly pandemic. Been there, done that.," 16 Dec. 2020 Fleet-Davis was decent in place of Funk, but the latter had racked up 182 yards and a 44-yard touchdown run in the third quarter on 17 rushes before his injury. Edward Lee,, "QB Eric Najarian shows promise and more takeaways from Maryland football’s 27-24 OT loss to Rutgers," 13 Dec. 2020 The Tigers are decent at preventing big plays (12 passing plays of 30+ yards allowed), but will allow opponents to move the chains through the air (opposing quarterbacks complete 65.1 percent of their passes). Christopher Smith, al, "Why Mississippi State will cover the spread against Auburn," 8 Dec. 2020 Even the noise-canceling is decent—more than adequate enough to quiet down kids or noisy roommates during the quarantine work week. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, "Our 100+ Favorite Cyber Monday Deals Still Available Today," 1 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for decent

Time Traveler

The first known use of decent was in 1539

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Statistics for decent

Last Updated

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce decent (audio)

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


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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Comments on decent

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