- The definition of decent is someone or something that is respectable, modest, proper, or fair and kind.
- An example of decent is using appropriate language in a formal setting.
- An example of decent is woman wearing a top that doesn't show cleavage to a job interview.
- An example of decent is someone letting a pregnant woman cut in line for a restroom.
- proper and fitting: a decent burial
- not immodest; not obscene; chaste: decent language
- conforming to approved social standards; respectable: decent apparel
- reasonably good; adequate: decent wages
- fair and kind: decent treatment
- Informal adequately clothed for propriety
Origin of decentMiddle French décent ; from Classical Latin decens (gen decentis), present participle of decere, to befit ; from Indo-European base an unverified form de-, to receive, greet, be suitable, teach from source Sanskrit dkšati, (he) is helpful, Classical Latin docere, to teach, Classical Greek dokein, to think, seem
- a. Characterized by conformity to recognized standards of propriety or morality: a respected citizen who led a decent life; children brought up in decent homes.b. Morally upright; moral or respectable: “the corruption that allows the unscrupulous to grow rich while decent people labor to earn an honest wage” (Amitav Ghosh).c. Kind or obliging: very decent of them to lend you money.d. Showing thoughtfulness or consideration: let a decent interval go by before calling.
- Free from indelicacy or obscenity; clean: decent television programming for children.
- Fairly good; acceptable; satisfactory: finally got a decent night's sleep; made decent wages in the new job.
- a. Suitable; fitting: had nothing decent to wear to the reception.b. Informal Properly or modestly dressed: The guests are here—are you decent?
Origin of decentLatin decēns, decent-, present participle of decēre, to be fitting; see dek- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more decent, superlative most decent)
- (of a person) Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness.
- Sufficiently clothed or dressed to be seen.
- Are you decent? May I come in?
- Fair; good enough; okay.
- He's a decent saxophonist, but probably not good enough to make a career of it.
- Significant; substantial.
- There are a decent number of references out there, if you can find them.
From Middle French décent, or its source, Latin decēns, present participle of decet (“it is fitting or suitable”), from Proto-Indo-European *deke-, from base *dek- (“to take, accept, to receive, greet, be suitable”) (compare Ancient Greek δοκεῖν (dokein, “to appear, seem, think”), δέχεσθαι (dekhesthai, “to accept”); [Devanagari?] Sanskrit dacasyati (“shows honor, is gracious”), dacati (“makes offerings, bestows”)). Meaning kind, pleasant is from 1902.