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Indecorous vs Improper vs Unseemly vs Indecent vs Unbecoming vs Indelicate

Indecorous, improperunseemlyindecentunbecomingindelicate are comparable when meaning not in conformity with the accepted standard of what is right or fitting or is regarded as good form.

The first four words are in general the diametrical opposites of decorous, proper, seemly, decent (see DECOROUS ), but the negative terms are often more sharply distinguished from each other than the affirmative terms.

Something is indecorous which trangresses the conventions of polite society or its notions of what constitutes good form or good manners.

Something is improper which violates an accepted standard of what is right, correct, or fitting, especially in etiquette, in language, in aesthetics, or in morals.

Something is unseemly which is not only indecorous or improper but also offensive to persons of good taste or to strict followers of the conventions.

Something is indecent which is grossly offensive to those who observe the proprieties or, in a frequent stronger sense of the word, which violates or outrages accepted standards or morals, modesty, or propriety.

Something is unbecoming which does not befit one’s character or standing or is not in accordance with one’s own standards.

Something is indelicate which verges upon immodesty or which betrays lack of tact or of sensitive perceptions.