English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle French , or its source, décent Latin , present participle of decēns decet ( “ it is fitting or suitable ” ), from Proto-Indo-European *deḱ- ( “ to take, accept, to receive, greet, be suitable ” ) (compare Ancient Greek δοκέω ( dokéō, “ I appear, seem, think ” ), δέχομαι ( dékhomai, “ I accept ” ); Sanskrit दशस्यति ( daśasyáti, “ shows honor, is gracious ” ), दाशति ( dāśati, “ makes offerings, bestows ” )). Meaning ‘kind, pleasant’ is from 1902.
Pronunciation [ edit ]
Adjective [ edit ]
decent ( comparative , more decent superlative )
( obsolete ) Appropriate; suitable for the circumstances.
( of a person ) Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness.
( informal ) 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.
1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess :  A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.
1991, Stephen Fry, , page 35: The Liar And ‘ blubbing’... Blubbing went out with ‘ decent’ and ‘ripping’. Mind you, not a bad new language to start up. Nineteen-twenties schoolboy slang could be due for a revival. 2021 June 30, Philip Haigh, “Regional trains squeezed as ECML congestion heads north”, in RAIL, number 934, page 53: I'm all for opening new stations (Transport Scotland is planning another at East Linton, about halfway between Drem and Dunbar), but they are useless without a decent service.
There are a decent number of references out there, if you can find them. Conforming to perceived standards of good taste.
1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “ The Heart of Darkness”, in , volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine [ … ] , , part I, OCLC 1042815524 page 201: I had a cup of tea - the last decent cup of tea for many days; and in a room that most soothingly looked just as you would expect a lady’s drawing-room to look, we had a long quiet chat by the fireside. ( obsolete ) Comely; shapely; well-formed.
a. 1645, John Milton, “ Il Penseroso”, in , London: Poems of Mr. John Milton, [ … ] [ … ] Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Mosely, [ … ] , published 1646, , OCLC 606951673 page 38: And ſable ſtole of Cipres Lawn, Over thy decent ſhoulders drawn.
Usage notes [ edit ]
Synonyms [ edit ]
Antonyms [ edit ]
Derived terms [ edit ]
Related terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ]
appropriate, suitable for the circumstances
showing integrity, fairness, moral uprightness
прысто́йны ( prystójny ) Bulgarian:
благоприли́чен (bg) ( blagoprilíčen ), прили́чен (bg) ( prilíčen ), присто́ен (bg) ( pristóen ) Chinese:
Mandarin: 體面 , (zh) 体面 (zh) ( tǐmiàn ) Czech:
slušný (cs) Danish:
, anstændig pæn (da) Dutch:
integer , (nl) fatsoenlijk (nl) Finnish:
kunnollinen , (fi) rehellinen , (fi) säädyllinen (fi) French:
intègre (fr) Galician:
decente m or f Georgian:
წესიერი ( c̣esieri ), ზრდილი ( zrdili ) German:
anständig , (de) sittsam
(de) Alemannic German: aaschtändig Greek:
κόσμιος (el) ( kósmios ), ευπρεπής (el) ( efprepís ) Hebrew:
הגון (he) ( hagun ) Hungarian:
tisztességes , (hu) derék , (hu) rendes (hu) Indonesian:
baik (id) Irish: gnaíúil
comely; shapely; well-formed
References [ edit ]
Anagrams [ edit ]
third-person plural present active indicative of decet
Romanian [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
French , from décent Latin .
Adjective [ edit ]
decent ( m or n feminine singular , decentă masculine plural , decenți feminine and neuter plural )
Declension [ edit ]