[et-i-kit, -ket]
See more synonyms for etiquette on
  1. conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
  2. a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
  3. 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

Synonyms for etiquette

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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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for etiquette

Contemporary Examples of etiquette

Historical Examples of etiquette

  • You know better than any one else the etiquette of the Spanish Court.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • What do you think, eh, of the etiquette which compels him to such loneliness?

  • For that breach of etiquette I had to humiliate you that Royal dignity might be preserved.

  • When the decent distance of etiquette separated us we resumed our paddles.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • A battle should be like a stately minuet, with no loss of dignity or of etiquette.'

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

British Dictionary definitions for etiquette


  1. the customs or rules governing behaviour regarded as correct or acceptable in social or official life
  2. a conventional but unwritten code of practice followed by members of any of certain professions or groupsmedical etiquette

Word Origin for etiquette

C18: from French, from Old French estiquette label, from estiquier to attach; see stick ²
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 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