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 His dealer is a wanna-be slickster who shows up at Rob’s door in a yellow Camaro, his Gucci buckle glinting obviously in the sunlight, an affront to all that is decent and good. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 15 July 2021 By any normal standard, Mattis is a decent and honorable man, and yet the stakes are too high in war to hold generals to a normal standard. Timothy Kudo, The New Republic, 12 July 2021 For that kind of money, this hatchback offers a surprising amount of refinement, impressive efficiency, and a decent number of standard features. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, 9 July 2021 Eccentric but decent co-workers who, at the end of the day, think of each other as family. Roxanne Roberts, Star Tribune, 7 July 2021 Eccentric but decent co-workers who, at the end of the day, think of each other as family. Washington Post, 30 June 2021 All anyone wants, including Jordan by the looks of it, is this new live-action Gundam movie to be decent and true to the storied mythos that birthed it. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 18 June 2021 President Biden ran on the platform of restoring good, decent, American values. Sean-michael Pigeon, National Review, 17 June 2021 There’s a Mylar blanket, a rain poncho, a bandanna and decent utility gloves, as well as a first-aid kit, duct tape, batteries, rinse-free hand wash, trash bags and tissue. Jenn Harris Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2021

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

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Decent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decent. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on decent

Nglish: Translation of decent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decent for Arabic Speakers

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