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[dee-suh n-see] /ˈdi sən si/
noun, plural decencies.
the state or quality of being decent.
conformity to the recognized standard of propriety, good taste, modesty, etc.
  1. the recognized standards of decent or proper behavior; proprieties:
    The least you can expect from them is some respect for the decencies.
  2. the requirements or amenities for decent or comfortable living:
    to be able to afford the decencies.
Origin of decency
1560-70; < Latin decentia comeliness, decency, equivalent to decent- (stem of decēns) fitting (see decent) + -ia noun suffix
2. decorum, respectability, gentility. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decency
  • Loss of civility and a sense of decorum and decency goes a long way toward explaining road rage writ large on the landscape.
  • Not about sensitivity and understanding and decency.
  • decency and honesty she had in plenty, and on occasion a hint of steel.
  • It is not going to have much influence on their personality, but it matters because of basic human decency.
  • Yet this was a rare event in a society where individual decency ran against the grain of the settlers' culture.
  • The couple was arrested and charged with, among other things, outraging public decency.
  • It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect.
  • But common decency suggests that the rich world should do whatever it can to help.
  • Winter this year lingers beyond all notions of decency.
  • The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency.
British Dictionary definitions for decency


noun (pl) -cies
conformity to the prevailing standards of propriety, morality, modesty, etc
the quality of being decent
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
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Word Origin and History for decency

1560s, "appropriateness," from Latin decentia "comeliness, decency," from decentem "becoming, fitting" (see decent). Meaning "modesty" (i.e. "appropriateness to standards of society") is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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