de·​co·​rum | \ di-ˈkȯr-əm How to pronounce decorum (audio) \

Definition of decorum

1 : literary and dramatic propriety : fitness according to strict neoclassic decorum only the aristocracy had the right to appear in tragedy— Irving Babbitt
2 : propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance strict in her notions of decorum— Jane Austen
3 : orderliness the organization's decorum has rarely been shaken— W. F. Longgood
4 decorums plural : the conventions of polite behavior the established sobrieties and decorums of English life— H. G. Wells

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Synonyms & Antonyms for decorum



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Examples of decorum in a Sentence

He has no sense of decorum. high standards of decorum are usually required when attending the opera
Recent Examples on the Web All sense of town decorum was lost as humans of the United Kingdom grapple with over 25,000 cases of COVID-19. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "A Herd of Wild Goats Is Taking Over a Welsh Seaside Town Under Lockdown — and the Pictures Are Hysterical (Video)," 1 Apr. 2020 Edgeworth wrote careful narratives meant to instruct both boys and girls in the appropriate decorum specific to their respective genders. Longreads, "“The Leaky Vessel”: On Lewis Carroll and the Perils of Being Female," 27 Mar. 2020 Needless to say, traditional standards of theater decorum went out the window. Remy Tumin, New York Times, "Coronavirus, Bernie Sanders, Mets: Your Thursday Evening Briefing," 27 Feb. 2020 Pelosi's act of protest was met with fury by Republicans, who denounced her actions as offensive to soldiers mentioned during the speech, as well as a breach of decorum towards the president. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Pelosi says she 'had no intention' to tear up Trump's State of the Union until she read it," 16 Feb. 2020 All the while, the five board members forge on, tangled in their own web of misguided decorum. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "Mosaic Theater’s ‘Eureka Day’ slyly takes aim at self-righteous liberalism," 16 Dec. 2019 Its decorum is somehow both elitist and democratic. Nick Haramis, New York Times, "Farewell to the Friendly Cheek Kiss," 1 May 2020 For the moment, though, the two sides maintained decorum. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Walmart Was Almost Charged Criminally Over Opioids. Trump Appointees Killed the Indictment.," 25 Mar. 2020 Things shook out such that a number of the first shows to adopt this social-distancing decorum were daytime broadcasts. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "The TV-Studio Audience Goes Missing in the Coronavirus Crisis," 13 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decorum.' 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 decorum

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decorum

Latin, from neuter of decorus — see decorous

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Time Traveler for decorum

Time Traveler

The first known use of decorum was in 1568

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Statistics for decorum

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decorum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce decorum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decorum

formal : correct or proper behavior that shows respect and good manners


de·​co·​rum | \ di-ˈkȯr-əm How to pronounce decorum (audio) \

Kids Definition of decorum

: proper behavior Grandpa insisted on decorum during the ceremony.

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