Definition of indecent in English:



  • 1Not conforming with generally accepted standards of behaviour, especially in relation to sexual matters.

    ‘indecent acts’
    • ‘Shorts, miniskirts, and revealing clothing are considered indecent and are avoided.’
    • ‘She saw a male following her performing an indecent sexual act.’
    • ‘While the move was to keep rash driving and indecent behaviour in check, the law seems to be falling short on reach.’
    • ‘She began accepting the indecent proposals set before her, and had affairs to fill the void her husband had left.’
    • ‘The new law forbids the distribution to minors of obscene or indecent material through the Internet or on-line services.’
    • ‘For an act to be indecent, it has to happen in a public place - and context is everything.’
    • ‘What constitutes an indecent act is determined by what the courts feel are the community standards of the day.’
    • ‘Police are trying to track down a man seen performing an indecent act in a Colchester car park.’
    • ‘Couple charged with indecent behaviour for holding hands in public.’
    • ‘He has been charged with stalking, indecent acts and indecent dealing.’
    • ‘He said there had not been any improper or indecent behaviour.’
    • ‘In terms of the Act it is illegal to commit any nuisance or disorderly or indecent act on an aircraft, to be intoxicated or to behave violently.’
    • ‘So it could not have been the real reason for the appellant's having the indecent photographs.’
    • ‘Over the past few years, authorities have cracked down on bars in response to complaints of indecent or obscene behaviour.’
    • ‘She insisted charges be brought against the man for his indecent behavior.’
    • ‘There was no other allegation of an indecent act, notwithstanding a detailed investigation.’
    • ‘He told police he committed an indecent act in the cubicle.’
    • ‘Accordingly, the Act makes it an offence to display publicly any indecent matter.’
    • ‘He was one of three men arrested by police for indecent behaviour and insulting the head of state during the celebrations.’
    • ‘Modesty suggests shunning indecent behavior but it also implies bashfulness based on timidity.’
    obscene, dirty, filthy, rude, coarse, vulgar, gross, crude, bawdy, lewd, racy, risqué, salacious, wicked, improper, indelicate, unseemly, impure, smutty, spicy, raw, off colour, ribald, rabelaisian, lascivious, licentious
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  • 2Not appropriate or fitting.

    ‘they leaped on the suggestion with indecent haste’
    • ‘If the visitors were a long time in making any ground, Celtic eliminated any remaining title doubts with indecent haste.’
    • ‘I am seated with almost indecent haste and am handed a menu.’
    • ‘If any visions appeared owing to this kindly ecclesiastical intervention then they must have disappeared with indecent haste.’
    • ‘Michelangelo left Rome with a haste that struck some of his friends as indecent.’
    • ‘One council I know well, suffered financial loss as a result of that indecent haste.’
    unseemly, improper, indecorous, unceremonious, indiscreet, indelicate, demeaning, unbecoming, ungentlemanly, unladylike, unworthy, unfitting, unbefitting, degrading, debasing, cheapening, belittling, lowering, shaming, shameful, humiliating, mortifying, dishonourable, ignominious, undignified, discreditable, ignoble, inglorious, scandalous, disgraceful, outrageous
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Late 16th century: from French indécent or Latin indecent-, from in- ‘not’ + decent- ‘being fitting’ (see decent).