- conforming to the recognized standard of propriety, good taste, modesty, etc., as in behavior or speech.
- respectable; worthy: a decent family.
- adequate; fair; passable: a decent wage.
- kind; obliging; generous: It was very decent of him to lend me his watch.
- suitable; appropriate: She did not have a decent coat for the cold winter.
- of fairly attractive appearance: a decent face.
- Informal. wearing enough clothing to appear in public.
- Slang. great; wonderful.
Origin of decent
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for decently
But you certainly wouldn't know this if you were even a decently informed voter.So About that Faux-Protectionism
October 29, 2012
You need—peacefully, humbly, decently—to make them spill your blood.How the Wall Street Protesters Win
October 14, 2011
Yonni did the right thing when he asked two women to treat each other decently—simply because he loves them both.Chile's Etiquette of Love
October 16, 2010
Still, Lauer, a self-professed “lifelong bacon enthusiast,” started off decently enough.'Bacon Tastes Good, Get Over It'
May 15, 2009
And one always had a better time of it when one was decently dressed.The Incomplete Amorist
Why can't he work at these things—or why can't his secretaries prime him decently!The Coryston Family
Mrs. Humphry Ward
He just wanted to be decently quiet about things that aren't pretty!
He got away as soon as he could decently do so, and went back to Bloomsbury.
With Dr. Finlay I had had a home but only money enough to clothe me decently.An Orkney Maid
Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
- polite or respectablea decent family
- proper and suitable; fittinga decent burial
- conforming to conventions of sexual behaviour; not indecent
- free of oaths, blasphemy, etcdecent language
- good or adequatea decent wage
- informal kind; generoushe was pretty decent to me
- informal sufficiently clothed to be seen by other peopleare you decent?
Word Origin and History for decently
1530s, "proper to one's station or rank," also "tasteful," from Middle 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, to receive, greet, be suitable" (cf. Greek dokein "to appear, seem, think," dekhesthai "to accept;" Sanskrit daśasyati "shows honor, is gracious," dacati "makes offerings, bestows;" Latin docere "to teach," decus "grace, ornament"). Meaning "kind, pleasant" is from 1902. Are you decent? (1949) was originally backstage theater jargon for "are you dressed."