Definitions

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

  • n. Lack of propriety or good taste; impropriety.
  • n. An instance of indecorous behavior or action.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Indecorous behavior, or the state of being indecorous

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Lack of decorum; impropriety of behavior; that in behavior or manners which violates the established rules of civility, custom, or etiquette; indecorousness.
  • n. An indecorous or unbecoming action.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Lack of decorum; impropriety of behavior; violation of the accepted rules of conduct.
  • n. An indecorous or unbecoming act; a breach of decorum.
  • n. Synonyms Indecorum, Indelicacy, Indecency. An indecorum violates a rule or rules of civility or order: as, it is an indecorum to interrupt a speaker in debate; an indelicacy and an indecency are a low and a high degree of violation of the rules of modesty: as, there would be a manifest indelicacy, not to say indecency, in his putting himself forward for a public office; indelicacies or indecencies in speech or action. Indecency is used rather freely for anything shameful in conduct.

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

  • n. a lack of decorum
  • n. an act of undue intimacy

Etymologies

From Latin indecōrum, neuter substantive of indecōrus. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is that indecorum, which is explained so much at large by Cicero in his Offices.

    An Enquiry into the Principles of Morals

  • A scandal is a serious indecorum which is used generally in reference to the clergy.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • The necessity of it to my defence against a more heinous charge could alone have extorted from me so painful an indecorum.

    Chris Weigant: America's First Political Sex Scandal: The Reynolds/Hamilton Affair

  • Caravaggio painted in Rome most of his life although his work was largely rejected at the time on the grounds of "indecorum," according to many biographers.

    John M. Eger: Restoration Jobs Available in Florence and Malta

  • General David Petraeus, in a rare public show of indecorum, last week suggested that corruption has been a part of Afghan culture since the country came into existence, which is a sentiment that is not only, from a historical and anthropological perspective, wholly ignorant, but one that exposes intentions on the General's part that seem both dubious as well as misplaced.

    Michael Hughes: Afghanistan Corrupted by U.S. and 30 Years of Foreign Meddling

  • When he returned to his place, there were still marks of discomposure on his brow; but, becoming apparently collected and calm, he looked around him, and apologized for the indecorum of which he had been guilty, which he ascribed to sudden and severe indisposition.

    The Monastery

  • I hope, make due allowance, there is, I may say, an indecorum in a prince who comes to claim the allegiance of the Church of England, arriving on such an errand with such a companion — SI NON CASTE, CAUTE

    Redgauntlet

  • Before such witnesses to relate the reasons of her leaving the Harmless was impossible; and from such a party to send for Mrs Delvile, would, by her stately guardian, be deemed an indecorum unpardonable.

    Cecilia

  • He succeeded, however, by the adroit manner in which he apologized for the acts of indecorum committed by their attendant, and the skill with which he hinted the hope of his being brought to a better sense of principles and behaviour, by the neighbourhood of holy relics, consecrated buildings, and, above all, of men dedicated to religion.

    Quentin Durward

  • The Countess Isabelle read the letter, in which her aunt seemed determined to make the best of a bad bargain, and to console herself for the haste and indecorum of her nuptials, by the happiness of being wedded to one of the bravest men of the age, who had just acquired a princedom by his valour.

    Quentin Durward

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