Meaning of DECENT in English

ˈdēs ə nt adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin decent-, decens, present participle of decēre to be fitting, be proper; akin to Latin decus honor, ornament, dignus worthy, Greek dokein to seem good, seem, think, Sanskrit daśasyati he worships, favors

1. archaic

a. : appropriate to circumstances or to social status

the funeral … was a decent solemnity — John Evelyn

b. : having tasteful appearance or proportions : well-formed : shapely

her decent hand — Alexander Pope

2. : marked by acceptance as socially unobjectionable, proper, or suitable : not questionable or censurable : conforming to standards of propriety, etiquette, good taste, or morality

forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession — George Eliot

his decent reticence is branded as hypocrisy — W.S.Maugham


a. : free of anything improper or of suggestions of the immodest, lustful, or obscene : indicative or suggestive of virtue or propriety

speech in this circle, if not always decent , never became lewd — George Santayana

b. : not nude : clothed with adequate modesty

one of her shoulder straps slipped down, leaving her perfectly decent by American standards — Santha Rama Rau

4. : fairly good but not excellent : up to reasonable expectations : adequate , sufficient , satisfactory

in search of a decent meal — Robert Shaplen

vile insanitary barracks to serve as substitutes for decent human shelter — Lewis Mumford

: not poor, scant, questionable, or marginal

only a single fortress put up a decent resistance — Robert Graves

5. : marked by a combination of goodwill, sincerity, tolerance, uprightness, generosity, or fairness : not cruel, repressive, or vindictive

the decent people, the people on the side of the angels, the kind, reasonable, fair-minded people — Gladys B. Stern

Synonyms: see chaste , decorous

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.