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.
- (obsolete) Appropriate; suitable for the circumstances.
- (of a person) Having a suitable conformity to basic moral standards; showing integrity, fairness, or other characteristics associated with moral uprightness.
- (informal) Sufficiently clothed or dressed to be seen.
Are you decent? May I come in?
- Fair; good enough; okay.
He's a decent saxophonist, but probably not good enough to make a career of it.
- Significant; substantial.
There are a decent number of references out there, if you can find them.
- (obsolete) Comely; shapely; well-formed.
- A sable stole of cyprus lawn / Over thy decent shoulders drawn — Milton.