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

The exposure of the sick, weak, deformed children, in short, their destruction, was more decent and in truth a thousand times more human than the wretched insanity of our day which preserves the most pathological subject. Myke Cole, The New Republic, "The Sparta Fetish Is a Cultural Cancer," 1 Aug. 2019 Battery life is decent at 5 hours, and the included charging case delivers two extra charges. courant.com, "CNET: The best-sounding true wireless headphones of 2019," 25 July 2019 This $60 off deal on a Google Nest Thermostat is decent, too. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Best anti-Prime Day deals from Target, Walmart, and more," 15 July 2019 Its luxury saloons remain desirable and returns have been decent. The Economist, "BMW tries to turn a corner—and loses its boss," 11 July 2019 Goodrum’s bat makes him a decent asset for the Tigers, but his versatility is what really sets him apart, and there’s increasing evidence that major league teams are putting more value on his type of jack-of-all-trades skill set. Noah Trister, The Seattle Times, "Big league teams appreciate the value of versatility," 29 Mar. 2019 Chin tattoos, radiating in lines from a woman’s bottom lip, were once common across the Americas, and Deter-Wolf thinks there’s a decent chance Ancestral Puebloan women may also have worn them. Krista Langlois, National Geographic, "2,000-year-old tattoo needle identified by archaeologists," 28 Feb. 2019 Iannucci, who has a massive map of the food deserts in Prince George’s on an office wall, said making sure that there are decent grocery options in every neighborhood is vital. Rachel Chason, Washington Post, "Shoppers Food was sold. What will happen to its stores in Maryland and Virginia?," 12 July 2019 That will price them out of the upper tier of big men, but this free agent class is deep, so there will be plenty of decent options. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Kemba Walker expected to sign four-year max salary contract with Celtics," 29 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

7 Aug 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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