decent (adj.)

1530s, "proper to one's station or rank," also "tasteful, proper with regard to modesty or social standards," from French décent, or directly from Latin decentem (nominative decens) "becoming, seemly, fitting, proper," present participle of decere "to be fitting or suitable" (from PIE *deke-, from root *dek- "to take, accept"). Related: Decently.

Meaning "kind, pleasant" is from 1902. Meaning "moderate, respectable, good enough" is by 1711. Are you decent? "are you dressed?" (1949) was originally backstage theater jargon.

updated on December 08, 2020

Definitions of decent from WordNet
decent (adj.)
socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous;
from a decent family
Synonyms: nice
decent (adj.)
in harmony with the spirit of particular persons or occasion;
a decent burial
Synonyms: fitting
decent (adj.)
conforming to conventions of sexual behavior; "speech in this circle, if not always decent, never became lewd"- George Santayana;
decent (adj.)
sufficiently clothed to see visitors or appear in public;
are you decent?
decent (adj.)
observing conventional sexual mores in speech or behavior or dress;
though one of her shoulder straps had slipped down, she was perfectly decent by current standards
decent (adj.)
meeting requirements;
I would kill for a decent cup of coffee
a decent wage
decent (adv.)
in the right manner; correctly; suitably;
can't you carry me decent?
Synonyms: properly / decently / right
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.