Definition of etiquette
: the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
etiquette was our Word of the Day on 07/16/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of etiquette in a sentence
Her failure to respond to the invitation was a serious breach of etiquette.
the couple exhibited poor etiquette when they left the party without saying good-bye to the host and hostess
Did You Know?
One definition of the French word étiquette is "ticket" or "label attached to something for identification." In 16th-century Spain, the French word was borrowed (and altered to "etiqueta") to refer to the written protocols describing orders of precedence and behavior demanded of those who appeared in court. Eventually, "etiqueta" came to be applied to the court ceremonies themselves as well as the documents which outlined the requirements for them. Interestingly, this then led to French speakers of the time attributing the second sense of "proper behavior" to their "étiquette," and in the middle of the 18th century English speakers finally adopted both the word and the second meaning from the French.
Origin and Etymology of etiquette
French étiquette, literally, ticket — more at ticket
First Known Use: 1737
ETIQUETTE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of etiquette for English Language Learners
: the rules indicating the proper and polite way to behave
ETIQUETTE Defined for Kids
Definition of etiquette for Students
: the rules governing the proper way to behave or to do something
Learn More about etiquette
See words that rhyme with etiquette Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for etiquette Spanish Central: Translation of etiquette Nglish: Translation of etiquette for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of etiquette for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about etiquette
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up etiquette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).