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 Genesis, on its 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires, returned a decent 0.92 g of grip on the skidpad, putting it right in line with its German rivals. Annie White, Car and Driver, "Our 2019 Genesis G70 Is a Reliable Quarantine Companion," 30 July 2020 The Snapdragon 665 processor is fast enough, and the daytime photos with the four-camera system are decent. Adrienne So, Wired, "TCL's Newest Phones Are Already on Sale," 24 June 2020 As a decent low-post scorer, Zizic seals his opponents well down low. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Ante Zizic couldn’t crack the rotation due to injuries and competition during 2019-20 season: Cleveland Cavaliers Season Review," 13 July 2020 The weather looks decent, with a 60-percent chance of favorable conditions at liftoff. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX will try to launch Starlink satellites with “visors” on Wednesday," 8 July 2020 Long-term, there is a decent argument to be made that Buffett's new assets fit with a vision that energy demand will move in one direction—up—as the American economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "Warren Buffett’s buy-on-fear strategy will be tested with his latest bet on fossil fuels," 8 July 2020 Matt Kenseth is the only driver to win a daytime Cup Series Race at Kentucky and has shown decent speed since joining Kurt Busch at Chip Ganassi Racing. Jason Hoffman, The Enquirer, "NASCAR at Kentucky Speedway: Picks to win ARCA, Truck, XFinity, Cup Series races this week," 5 July 2020 Warm, friendly, full of soggy bottoms, underproved loaves and decent people doing their best, this British import is one of the happiest TV series ever made. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "50 best TV shows to watch on Netflix right now: 'Better Call Saul,' 'Pose,' 'Twilight Zone,' more," 1 July 2020 Garrett Smithley – Smithley didn’t set the world on fire, but bringing his Rick Ware Racing car home in the top 25 is a pretty decent result. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, "How each driver finished in the Brickyard 400," 6 July 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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on decent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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