Definition of decorous
: marked by propriety and good taste : correct <decorous conduct>
Examples of decorous in a sentence
<we were asked to be on our most decorous behavior at the formal event>
<the oppressively decorous standards of a royal court>
Did You Know?
The current meaning of decorous dates from the mid-17th century. One of the word's earliest recorded uses appears in a book titled The Rules of Civility (1673): "It is not decorous to look in the Glass, to comb, brush, or do any thing of that nature to ourselves, whilst the said person be in the Room." Decorous for a time had another meaning as well—"fitting or appropriate"—but that now-obsolete sense seems to have existed for only a few decades in the 17th century. Decorous derives from the Latin word decorus, an adjective created from the noun decor, meaning "beauty" or "grace." Decor is akin to the Latin verb decēre ("to be fitting"), which is the source of our adjective decent. It is only fitting, then, that decent can be a synonym of decorous.
Origin and Etymology of decorous
Latin decorus, from decor beauty, grace; akin to Latin decēre to be fitting — more at decent
First Known Use: 1653
DECOROUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of decorous for English Language Learners
: correct and polite in a particular situation
Seen and Heard
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