|etiquette (ˈɛtɪˌkɛt, ˌɛtɪˈkɛt)|
|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 groups: medical etiquette|
|[C18: from French, from Old French estiquette label, from estiquier to attach; see |
system of rules and conventions that regulate social and professional behaviour. In any social unit there are accepted rules of behaviour upheld and enforced by legal codes; there are also norms of behaviour mandated by custom and enforced by group pressure. An offender faces no formal trial or sentence for breach of etiquette; the penalty lies in the disapproval of other members of the group. Regardless of its level of material culture, any highly stratified society will possess an etiquette in which every person knows the behaviour expected from him toward others and from others toward himself.
Learn more about etiquette with a free trial on Britannica.com.