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

Today, Hubbard Glacier ice towers as high as a 30-story building, with a decent gap from Gilbert Point, allowing ocean waters to pass through to the fjord, the tides pushing and pulling icebergs through the canyon. Anchorage Daily News, "The sound of silence in Russell Fjord," 8 June 2019 Can’t there be more for them than running through this desert in search of a decent life? Morgan Smith, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: I scouted the U.S.-Mexico border looking for dignity and leadership," 4 June 2019 Most people are trustworthy and most people are decent. Nico Savidge, The Mercury News, "She saw through Elizabeth Holmes. Now Stanford professor is star in Theranos saga.," 3 June 2019 The Telluride's departure angle, 20.0, is decent, too. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Kia Telluride Has Some Serious Off-Road Chops," 7 May 2019 Any decent makeup primer should do two things: make foundation go on smoothly and help your makeup stick around a little longer. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Dior's New Makeup Primer Does Not Budge—Even In The Moroccan Heat," 21 May 2019 Compared with the regular Cayenne S, the coupe gets a decent amount of additional standard features. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Porsche Cayenne S Coupe Would Get Goldilocks's Approval," 14 May 2019 His work as an electrician there afforded his family back home a decent three-room house, a luxury for many in the community. Lauren Bohn, Marie Claire, "Who Killed Claudia Gomez?," 2 May 2019 The takeaway here is that Brooks is probably spending a decent chunk of his Yale money at the thrift store, buying outfits for all these dates. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "A Ranking of All the Dates in Noah Centineo's "The Perfect Date"," 12 Apr. 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

12 Jun 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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