decorous


decorous
decorous, decent, seemly, proper, nice apply to persons, their utterances, and their behavior, and mean conforming to an accepted standard of what is right or fitting or is regarded as good form.
Something is decorous when it is marked by observance of the proprieties; the term usually implies a dignified, sometimes ceremonious, sometimes prim, formality
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the decorous platitudes of the last century— J. R. Lowell

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done something strange and extravagant and broken the monotony of a decorous age—Emerson

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on Sunday mornings the whole school went to church; in the afternoon it had a decorous walk— H. G. Wells

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Something is decent (for other sense, see CHASTE) when it keeps within the bounds of what is appropriate or fitting to its kind or class, not only from the points of view of morality or social propriety but also from those of good taste or the exigencies of a situation
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to praise a man's self, cannot be decent, except it be in rare cases— Bacon

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he cast only one glance at the dead face on the pillow, which Dolly had smoothed with decent care— George Eliot

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his decent reticence is branded as hypocrisy— Maugham

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Something is seemly when it is not only decorous or decent, but also pleasing to the eye, ear, or mind of the observer
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to make a seemly answer— Shak.

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a seemly display of enthusiasm

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it was not seemly that one so old should go out of his way to see beauty, especially in a woman— Galsworthy

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the safety of human society lies in the assumption that every individual composing it, in a given situation, will act in a manner hitherto approved as seemlyMencken

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Something is proper when it is exactly what it should be according to accepted ethical or social standards or conventions
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Henchard's creed was that proper young girls wrote ladies'-hand—nay, he believed that bristling characters were as innate and inseparable a part of refined womanhood as sex itself— Hardy

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a few pages back I was expressing a proper diffidence about any conclusions in view, and here I am, almost shouting in favor of one— Montague

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Something is nice (see also NICE 1; CORRECT) when it satisfies a somewhat fastidious taste in behavior, manners, or speech
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his conduct is not always so nice

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it is not enough for the knight of romance that you agree that his lady is a very nice girl— Justice Holmes

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the undergraduate literary club, whose membership included all nice boys with literary pretensions— Marquand

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Analogous words: formal, conventional, ceremonious, *ceremonial: dignified, elegant (see corresponding nouns at ELEGANCE)
Antonyms: indecorous: blatant

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decorous — Dec or*ous (d[e^]k [ o]r*[u^]s or d[ e]*k[=o] r[u^]s; 277), a. [L. dec[=o]rus, fr. decor comeliness, beauty; akin to decere. See {Decent}, and cf. {Decorum}.] Suitable to a character, or to the time, place, and occasion; marked with decorum;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decorous — index formal, obeisant, proper, suitable Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • decorous — 1660s, from L. decorus becoming, seemly, fitting, proper, from decus (gen. decoris) ornament (see DECORATE (Cf. decorate)). Related: Decorously …   Etymology dictionary

  • decorous — [adj] appropriate, suitable au fait, becoming, befitting, ceremonial, ceremonious, civilized, comely, comme il faut, conforming, conventional, correct, decent, demure, de rigueur, dignified, done, elegant, fit, fitting, formal, good, mannerly,… …   New thesaurus

  • decorous — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ in keeping with good taste and propriety; polite and restrained. DERIVATIVES decorously adverb decorousness noun. ORIGIN Latin decorus seemly …   English terms dictionary

  • decorous — [dek′ə rəs; ] also [ di kôr′əs] adj. [L decorus, becoming < decor: see DÉCOR] characterized by or showing decorum, propriety, good taste, etc. decorously adv. decorousness n …   English World dictionary

  • decorous — [[t]de̱kərəs[/t]] ADJ GRADED Decorous behaviour is very respectable, calm, and polite. [FORMAL] They go for decorous walks every day in parks with their nanny. Syn: seemly, proper Derived words: decorously ADV GRADED He sipped his drink… …   English dictionary

  • decorous — adjective Etymology: Latin decorus, from decor beauty, grace; akin to Latin decēre to be fitting more at decent Date: 1653 marked by propriety and good taste ; correct < decorous conduct > • decorously adverb • decorousness …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • decorous — adjective he behaved toward her in a decorous manner Syn: proper, seemly, decent, becoming, befitting, tasteful; correct, appropriate, suitable, fitting; tactful, polite, well mannered, genteel, respectable; formal, restrained, modest …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • decorous — decorously, adv. decorousness, n. /dek euhr euhs, di kawr euhs, kohr /, adj. characterized by dignified propriety in conduct, manners, appearance, character, etc. [1655 65; < L decorus seemly, becoming, deriv. of decus; see DECORATE, OUS] Syn.… …   Universalium


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