• synonyms


[dih-kawr-uhm, -kohr-]
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  1. dignified propriety of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
  2. the quality or state of being decorous, or exhibiting such dignified propriety; orderliness; regularity.
  3. Usually decorums. an observance or requirement of polite society.
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Origin of decorum

1560–70; < Latin decōrum, noun use of neuter of decōrus decorous


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1. politeness, manners, dignity. See etiquette.

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

[doo l-ke et de-koh-room est proh pah-tree-ah moh-ree; English duhl-see et di-kawr-uh m est proh pey-tree-uh mawr-ahy, mohr-ahy, -kohr-uh m]
  1. sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decorum

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Lady Sarah Lidhurst was precisely as sorry as decorum required.

  • This evening some decorum was observed, there wasn't too much gorging.

  • Such a breach of delicacy and decorum never did I witness before.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • His victory made him uneasy, yet he saw no way of abandoning it with decorum.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • It was then that he lost the decorum and restraint a man keeps up for his own sake.

    Within the Tides

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for decorum


  1. propriety, esp in behaviour or conduct
  2. a requirement of correct behaviour in polite society
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Word Origin

C16: from Latin: propriety
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 decorum


1560s, from Latin decorum "that which is seemly," noun use of neuter of adjective decorus "fit, proper," from decor (see decor).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper