Definition of decorum in English:


Syllabification: de·co·rum
Pronunciation: /diˈkôrəm


  • 1Behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety: you exhibit remarkable modesty and decorum
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    • Of course, if you conduct yourself with impeccable taste and decorum, you will soon bore the reporters, and they will stop covering you.
    • ‘They are patterns of behaviour or patterns of decorum that we all have,’ says MacArthur.
    • There was a certain lack of decorum and taste at the Daily Record last week.
    propriety, seemliness, decency, good taste, correctness; politeness, courtesy, good manners; dignity, respectability, modesty, demureness
  • 1.1Etiquette: he had no idea of funeral decorum
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    • He said, ‘In golf, customs of etiquette and decorum are just as important as rules governing play.’
    • On the trek across the Sahara it was vital that decorum, etiquette and social graces were left at the airport!
    • You don't have to follow the rules of social decorum or the niceties of society because you are privileged.
  • 1.2 (usually decorums) • archaic A particular requirement of good taste and propriety.
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    • Eighteenth-century novelists, such as William Goodall in his Adventures of Captain Greenland, frequently invoked Shakespeare as a precursor because he was felt to break literary decorums in much the same way as did the new form.
    • In this, the volume is representative of current scholarship generally - and with some reason: the earlier decades are certainly less overtly sexy than the later, and more shrouded by those fabled Victorian decorums.
    • There is a parallel here with sensation fiction, another literary vogue of the 1860s and 1870s, in which criminality lurks beneath the surface decorums of daily life.
  • 1.3 archaic Suitability to the requirements of a person, rank, or occasion.
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    • Since Nabokov showed no sign of responding, one of the witnesses "and he was echt deutsch, real German" tried to hint at the required decorum.


mid 16th century (as a literary term, denoting suitability of style): from Latin, neuter of the adjective decorus 'seemly'.

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