from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Appropriateness of behavior or conduct; propriety: "In the Ireland of the 1940's ... the stolidity of a long, empty, grave face was thought to be the height of decorum and profundity” ( John McGahern).
  • n. The conventions or requirements of polite behavior: the formalities and decorums of a military funeral.
  • n. The appropriateness of an element of an artistic or literary work, such as style or tone, to its particular circumstance or to the composition as a whole.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Appropriate social behavior; propriety
  • n. A convention of social behavior

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Propriety of manner or conduct; grace arising from suitableness of speech and behavior to one's own character, or to the place and occasion; decency of conduct; seemliness; that which is seemly or suitable.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Propriety of speech, behavior, or dress; formal politeness; orderliness; seemliness; decency.
  • n. In general, fitness, suitableness, or propriety of anything, with respect to occasion, purpose, or use.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. propriety in manners and conduct


Latin decōrum, from decōrus, becoming, handsome; see decorous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin decōrus ("proper, decent"). (Wiktionary)



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  • noun: propriety in manners and conduct

    "You will obey the rules of decorum for this courtroom or spend the night in a jail cell," said the judge to the prosecutor.

    October 19, 2016

  • In accordance with its etymology, is that
    which is becoming in outward act or appearance;
    as,the decorum of a public assembly. Dignity springs from an inward elevation of soul producing a corresponding effect on the manners; as, dignity of personal appearance.

    January 2, 2008