decorous

adjective dec·o·rous \ ˈde-kər-əs also di-ˈkȯr-əs \

Definition of decorous

:marked by propriety and good taste :correct
  • decorous conduct
  • Ever decorous, she periodically excuses herself to another room rather than allow a guest to witness her blowing her nose.
  • —Will Hermes

decorously

adverb

decorousness

noun

decorous was our Word of the Day on 04/30/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of decorous in a Sentence

  1. we were asked to be on our most decorous behavior at the formal event

  2. the oppressively decorous standards of a royal court

Recent Examples of decorous from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decorous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

decorous Got Its Start With Etiquette

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


DECOROUS Defined for English Language Learners

decorous

adjective

Definition of decorous for English Language Learners

  • : correct and polite in a particular situation



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