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[dek-er-uhs, dih-kawr-uhs, -kohr-]
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  1. characterized by dignified propriety in conduct, manners, appearance, character, etc.
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Origin of decorous

1655–65; < Latin decōrus seemly, becoming, derivative of decus; see decorate, -ous
Related formsdec·o·rous·ly, adverbdec·o·rous·ness, nounnon·dec·o·rous, adjectivenon·dec·o·rous·ly, adverbnon·dec·o·rous·ness, nounun·dec·o·rous, adjectiveun·dec·o·rous·ly, adverbun·dec·o·rous·ness, noun

Synonyms for decorous

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Antonyms for decorous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for decorousness

dignity, modesty, propriety, decorum, civility, properness, respectability

Examples from the Web for decorousness

Historical Examples of decorousness

  • Ever since the engagement Mr. Shanner had been all decorousness and deference.

    An Engagement of Convenience

    Louis Zangwill

  • Which do you think should pay greatest attention to the decorousness of his appearance in the delivery of a speech?

  • That decorousness, that brightness, melted off what lay behind, as frosty dew melts off grass.

    The Dark Flower

    John Galsworthy

  • One learned, one merely obscene; one a pattern of decorousness, the other a self-polluter.

British Dictionary definitions for decorousness


  1. characterized by propriety in manners, conduct, etc
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Derived Formsdecorously, adverbdecorousness, noun

Word Origin for decorous

C17: from Latin decōrus, from decor elegance
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

Word Origin and History for decorousness



1660s, from Latin decorus "becoming, seemly, fitting, proper," from decus (genitive decoris) "ornament" (see decorate). Related: Decorously; decorousness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper