Definition of etiquette in English:


Pronunciation: /ɛtɪˈkɛt//ˈɛtɪkɛt/


  • [mass noun] The customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group.

    ‘the rules of etiquette are changing’
    [with modifier] ‘court etiquette was now familiar to Joan’
    [as modifier] ‘etiquette books’
    • ‘It seems to be the trend to rebel against all forms of tidiness, etiquette and decency.’
    • ‘As a result of this, obeying the rules of e-mail etiquette has become vitally important.’
    • ‘He interspersed classes with lessons about the rules and etiquette of the game.’
    • ‘The book, emphasising dinner table etiquette and rustic ingenuity remains a best-seller.’
    • ‘The trouble is that the murky area of tipping adheres to no rules or etiquette.’
    • ‘It is open to boys and girls aged between six and 16 and places as much emphasis on rules and etiquette as it does on playing.’
    • ‘The whole atmosphere is one of propriety and etiquette, under which the sordid matters of power and money bubble.’
    • ‘I also collect books on etiquette from this period because they are just so wonderful.’
    • ‘World War Three unfolding at the dinner table was no reason to forget all rules of basic social etiquette.’
    • ‘My lessons in etiquette failed to explain the correct response so I made my excuses and left as soon as I could.’
    • ‘Everyone is all courtesy and etiquette and even the ushers are spectacularly dressed.’
    • ‘She is also an ambassador for UNICEF, and has written a series of best-selling books on etiquette for women.’
    • ‘For some reason, these two rules of etiquette seem to be ignored more than any other.’
    • ‘Before you can order at all, you must learn the correct bar-counter etiquette.’
    • ‘Many of the most important rules of etiquette serve to mark differences in social rank.’
    • ‘The basic code that helps maintain a healthy society is etiquette towards others.’
    • ‘No one knew exactly what they would be tested on so most of the boys had moved swiftly to the library to look up royal etiquette and manners.’
    • ‘Another rule of etiquette is that greetings must precede all forms of social interaction.’
    • ‘Players will be stripped of titles if they haven't followed the rules of etiquette.’
    • ‘Codes and etiquette are no way to deal with issues such as racism, sexism or homophobia.’
    protocol, polite behaviour, good manners, manners, acceptable behaviour, accepted behaviour, proper behaviour, code of behaviour, rules of behaviour, rules of conduct, decorum, form, good form
    courtesy, politeness, civility, propriety, formalities, niceties, punctilios
    custom, customary behaviour, convention, conformity, conventionality
    the thing to do
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from French étiquette list of ceremonial observances of a court, also label, etiquette, from Old French estiquette (see ticket).