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See also: décent



From Middle French décent, or its source, Latin decēns, present participle of 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.


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


decent (comparative more decent, superlative most decent)

  1. (obsolete) Appropriate; suitable for the circumstances.
  2. (of a person) Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness.
  3. (informal) Sufficiently clothed or dressed to be seen.
    Are you decent? May I come in?
  4. 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[1]:
      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, The Liar, page 35:
      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.
  5. Significant; substantial.
    There are a decent number of references out there, if you can find them.
  6. Conforming to perceived standards of good taste.
  7. (obsolete) Comely; shapely; well-formed.

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  1. third-person plural present active indicative of decet



From French décent, from Latin decens.


decent m or n (feminine singular decentă, masculine plural decenți, feminine and neuter plural decente)

  1. decent