AskDefine | Define indecent

Dictionary Definition

indecent adj
1 not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society; "was buried with indecent haste"; "indecorous behavior"; "language unbecoming to a lady"; "unseemly to use profanity"; "moved to curb their untoward ribaldry" [syn: indecorous, unbecoming, uncomely, unseemly, untoward]
2 offensive to good taste especially in sexual matters; "an earthy but not indecent story"; "an indecent gesture" [ant: decent]
3 offending against sexual mores in conduct or appearance; "a bathing suit considered indecent by local standards"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. offensive to good taste
  2. not in keeping with conventional moral values; improper, immodest or unseemly



offensive to good taste

Extensive Definition

Decency is conformity to sociocultural standards of conduct and speech.
Standards of decency vary greatly depending on the cultural context. Most nations have laws against indecency which regulate certain sexual acts, and restrict one's ability to display certain parts of the body in public (see indecent exposure).

Definitions of indecency in England and Wales

The terms indecency and indecent have wide application in English law, but are not defined in any legislation. Historically, the words' dictionary definitions (as opposed to legal definitions) helped to resolve legal disputes concerning the scope or application of the terms.
  • In R v Stanley (1965), Lord Parker attempted to differentiate indecency from obscenity:
"The words indecent or obscene convey one idea: namely, offending against the recognised standards of propriety—indecent being at the lower end of the scale and obscene at the upper end of the scale."
  • In Knuller v DPP, Lord Reid said that indecency includes "anything which an ordinary decent man or woman would find to be shocking, disgusting, or revolting."
  • In R v Graham-Kerr (1988), Stocker L. J. said that the appropriate test in the case of the Protection of Children Act 1978 was the application of the "recognised standards of propriety" stated in R v Stamford (1972).

External links

indecent in German: Anstand
indecent in French: Décence
indecent in Dutch: Fatsoen
indecent in Portuguese: Decência
indecent in Russian: Порядочность
indecent in Serbian: Пристојност

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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