First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Decent

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Decent mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Decent

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
adjective de"cent
  1. Suitable in words, behavior, dress, or ceremony; becoming; fit; decorous; proper; seemly; as, decent conduct; decent language."Before his decent steps." [Milton.]
  2. Free from immodesty or obscenity; modest.
  3. Comely; shapely; well-formed.(Archaic)"A sable stole of cyprus lawn Over thy decent shoulders drawn." [Milton.]"By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed." [Pope.]
  4. Moderate, but competent; sufficient; hence, respectable; fairly good; reasonably comfortable or satisfying; as, a decent fortune; a decent person. "A decent retreat in the mutability of human affairs." [Burke.]

Etymology: L. decens decentis, p. pr. of decere to be fitting or becoming; akin to decus glory, honor, ornament, Gr. dokei^n to seem good, to seem, think; cf. Skr. dāç to grant, to give; and perh. akin to E. attire tire: cf. F. décent. Cf. Decorate Decorum Deign

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Conforming to conventions of sexual behavior ("speech in this circle, if not always decent, never became lewd")
  2. Meeting requirements ("I would kill for a decent cup of coffee" and "a decent wage")
  3. Observing conventional sexual mores in speech or behavior or dress ("though one of her shoulder straps had slipped down, she was perfectly decent by current standards")
  4. Sufficiently clothed to see visitors or appear in public ("are you decent?")
  5. In harmony with the spirit of particular persons or occasion ("a decent burial")
  6. Socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous ("from a decent family")
  7. In the right manner; correctly; suitably ("can't you carry me decent?")

From Middle French décent, or its source, Latin decēns, present participle of decet (“it is fitting or suitable”), from Proto-Indo-European *dek- (“to take, accept, to receive, greet, be suitable”) (compare Ancient Greek δοκέω (dokéō, “I appear, seem, think”), δέχομαι (dékhomai, “I accept”); Sanskrit दशस्यति (daśasyáti, “shows honor, is gracious”), दाशति (dāśati, “makes offerings, bestows”)). Meaning ‘kind, pleasant’ is from 1902.

Where is the name Decent popular?

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Popularity of Decent as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Decent as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Michigan, Minnesota, or Washington.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Decent U.S.
  White 88.21% 64.26%
  African American 0.00% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 2.83% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 4.72% 16.26%

Of Last Name Decent

People with the last name Decent are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Decent

  • How Popular is the name Decent? As a last name Decent was the 87,663rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How unique is the name Decent? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Decent was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Decent: Your name in reverse order is Tneced. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Ndtcee. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Decent? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 212 people with the last name Decent.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Decent? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Decent as their last name since less than 1 person in 1.4m people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

What Decents Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Decent born Sep 12, 1958

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Germany approximately on 1775. Your profession was sailor and shoemaker.

As an inquisitive and inventive person, you liked to get to the very bottom of things and to rummage in books. Talent for drama, natural born actor. There is the invisible connection between material and spiritual world. Your lesson - to search, to find and to use this bridge.

Name poster for Decent

Name poster for Decent(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.