de·​co·​rum di-ˈkȯr-əm How to pronounce decorum (audio)
: literary and dramatic propriety : fitness
according to strict neoclassic decorum only the aristocracy had the right to appear in tragedyIrving Babbitt
: propriety and good taste in conduct or appearance
strict in her notions of decorumJane Austen
: orderliness
the organization's decorum has rarely been shakenW. F. Longgood
decorums plural : the conventions of polite behavior
the established sobrieties and decorums of English lifeH. G. Wells

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 The contrast between Northern Ireland’s parliamentary decorum and the violence engulfing Gaza 2,500 miles away could not have been more striking. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Feb. 2024 The display of temper caused courtroom onlookers to stare in disbelief at the former president’s breach of decorum. Kate Christobek, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2024 May God bless us with four more years of Joe Biden’s leadership, his decency and his decorum. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 16 Jan. 2024 The color is exceptionally romantic, and the fit is perfect — note that neckline — but those wrinkles break the sense of heady decorum. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2024 Some may say that there is wisdom, and decorum, in leaving it at that. Giles Harvey, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2023 The episodes depicted struggles with fictitious benevolence, inspecting the rules of decorum which insist that, say, a funeral can never be funny, even when the deceased was crushed by an elephant while dressed as a peanut. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 11 Dec. 2023 The agreement also outlines decorum for Berry and Martinez. Naledi Ushe, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2023 Still, there were certain points of order and decorum on which Adm. Toole would not budge. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decorum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from neuter of decorus — see decorous

First Known Use

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decorum was in 1568

Dictionary Entries Near decorum

Cite this Entry

“Decorum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


de·​co·​rum di-ˈkōr-əm How to pronounce decorum (audio)
: agreement with accepted standards of conduct : proper behavior
social decorum
: the state or condition of being calm, orderly, and well-regulated
the decorum of the meeting

More from Merriam-Webster on decorum

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