Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[et-i-kit, -ket] /ˈɛt ɪ kɪt, -ˌkɛt/
conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other:
medical etiquette.
Origin of etiquette
1740-50; < French étiquette, Middle French estiquette ticket, memorandum, derivative of estiqu(i)er to attach, stick < Germanic. See stick2, -ette
1. Etiquette, decorum, propriety imply observance of the formal requirements governing behavior in polite society. Etiquette refers to conventional forms and usages: the rules of etiquette. Decorum suggests dignity and a sense of what is becoming or appropriate for a person of good breeding: a fine sense of decorum. Propriety (usually plural) implies established conventions of morals and good taste: She never fails to observe the proprieties. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for etiquette
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By the etiquette of the duello, I might have insisted upon having the choice; but I was too angry to stand upon punctilios.

    The Bandolero Mayne Reid
  • It would not have been etiquette for the sheriff to come for him.

    The Escape of Mr. Trimm Irvin S. Cobb
  • Men are less inclined to certain forms of etiquette than women.

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • The etiquette of the contest must be asserted in his person.

    The Campaign of Trenton 1776-77 Samuel Adams Drake
  • The state of his foot didn't enter into the question at all, but official "etiquette" was in danger of being outraged.

    In the Ranks of the C.I.V. Erskine Childers
British Dictionary definitions for etiquette


/ˈɛtɪˌkɛt; ˌɛtɪˈkɛt/
the customs or rules governing behaviour regarded as correct or acceptable in social or official life
a conventional but unwritten code of practice followed by members of any of certain professions or groups: medical etiquette
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old French estiquette label, from estiquier to attach; see stick²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for etiquette

1750, from French étiquette "prescribed behavior," from Old French estiquette "label, ticket" (see ticket).

The sense development in French perhaps is from small cards written or printed with instructions for how to behave properly at court (cf. Italian etichetta, Spanish etiqueta), and/or from behavior instructions written on a soldier's billet for lodgings (the main sense of the Old French word).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for etiquette

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for etiquette

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for etiquette