from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of decency.
  • n. The requirements for comfortable living.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I cannot help thinking sometimes of the amount of comfort, enjoyment, and pleasure of all sorts I could command almost anywhere on the continent of Europe for the expense that here cannot procure me what we call the decencies of life, simply because they are not to be procured; and then I think that my children are dear to me in the most literal sense of the word.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters

  • Such things are no doubt very excellent, but they do not promote intensity of feeling, fervour of mind; and as art is in itself an outcry against the animality of human existence, it would be well that the life of the artist should be a practical protest against the so-called decencies of life; and he can best protest by frequenting a tavern and cutting his club.

    Confessions of a Young Man

  • And Isabelle recounted what she had seen of Aline's establishment in St. Louis, with its total disregard of what Conny called the "decencies" of life.


  • 'decencies' that swaddle it, or that we best reverence such sacred object by a prurient prudish conspiracy of silence concerning it?

    Prose Fancies

  • As a disseminator of the news, the paper shall observe the decencies that are obligatory upon a private gentleman.

    Wonk Room » George Will’s Lies Live On

  • My status as an actress exempts me from the common decencies accorded other women—it has its advantages and, at that moment, disadvantages.

    Exit the Actress

  • "But you are a woman just the same," he began, "and there are certain conventions, certain decencies --"

    Chapter 12

  • They received, not simply a living wage, but a wage that paid for some of the decencies, and, in East St. Louis, many of the indecencies of life.


  • Tarpin is released from prison through what the novel's narrator calls "one of the quaint decencies of English law" -- "that well-behaved murderers served only half their terms" -- and comes to the American Southwest looking for Beard.

    Ian McEwan's 'Solar': The Fat Man's Vengeance (New York Review)

  • Vestigial decencies oblige the sane among the war party to admit there is no danger to Israel from Iran, just now, let alone an "existential threat" that implicates the United States.

    David Bromwich: One More War, Please


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