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From Latin decentia, from decens. Compare French décence. See decent.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdiːsənsi/
  • (file)


decency (countable and uncountable, plural decencies)

  1. The quality of being decent; propriety.
  2. That which is proper or becoming.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Those thousand decencies, that daily flow / From all her words and actions.
    • 1706 October 9 (Gregorian calendar), Francis Atterbury, “A Sermon Preach’d in the Guild-Hall Chapel, London, Sept. 28. 1706. Being the Day of the Election of the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor.”, in Fourteen Sermons Preach’d on Several Occasions. [], London: [] E. P. [Edmund Parker?] for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1708, →OCLC, page 413:
      'Tis in the Civil Government, as in the Offices of Religion; which, were they ſtript of all the External Decencies of Worſhip, would not make a due Impreſſion on the Minds of thoſe who aſſiſt at them.

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