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[dek-er-uh s, dih-kawr-uh s, -kohr-] /ˈdɛk ər əs, dɪˈkɔr əs, -ˈkoʊr-/
characterized by dignified propriety in conduct, manners, appearance, character, etc.
Origin of decorous
1655-65; < Latin decōrus seemly, becoming, derivative of decus; see decorate, -ous
Related forms
decorously, adverb
decorousness, noun
nondecorous, adjective
nondecorously, adverb
nondecorousness, noun
undecorous, adjective
undecorously, adverb
undecorousness, noun
proper, becoming.
undignified. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for decorous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The children, already sitting in a decorous ring on their low chairs, seemed after the first surprise to approve of Phyllis.

    The Rose Garden Husband Margaret Widdemer
  • Thus our conversation ran--decorous and harmless enough, in all conscience.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • For a person's life to be decorous in it, the said person should have a hundred thousand a year.

  • Thorpe accepted in good part the intimation that silence was after all most decorous.

    The Market-Place Harold Frederic
  • It's not decent, it's not decorous to laugh at any incident in the lives of holy men.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • Nothing could be more perfectly proper and decorous than this dance.

    That Boy Of Norcott's Charles James Lever
  • The game was continued in that decorous silence which usually distinguished the table at which Mr. John Oakhurst presided.

  • There are no drunken men there, nothing but what is pleasant and decorous.

British Dictionary definitions for decorous


characterized by propriety in manners, conduct, etc
Derived Forms
decorously, adverb
decorousness, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for decorous

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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