: the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
Did You Know?
The French word étiquette means "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 at 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.
"… the Victorians saw the role of etiquette as something closer to a behavioral amulet capable of protecting one from the polluting forces of vulgarity and vice." — Alice Gregory, The New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2018
"As a matter of etiquette, contemporary bosses are expected to rein in their swagger and talk up their team. Some … even project vulnerability, not invincibility. — The Economist, 24 Nov. 2018
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
Unscramble the letters to create a word that refers to a breach of etiquette: MSOSILEC.VIEW THE ANSWER
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