An example of illicit is the use of illegal drugs.
Origin of illicitFrench illicite from Classical Latin illicitus, not allowed: see in- and licit
- Not sanctioned by custom or law; improper or unlawful.
- Linguistics Improperly formed; ungrammatical.
Origin of illicitLatin illicitus in- not ; see in- 1. licitus lawful ; see licit .
(comparative more illicit, superlative most illicit)
- (law) Not approved by law, but not invalid.
- The bigamous marriage, while illicit, was not invalid.
- Breaking social norms.
Licit and valid are legal terms to be compared, especially in terms of canon law. With bigamy, if there is an innocent party, the innocent party is validly married; the problem is with the guilty party, who has entered into an illegal second marriage without first divorcing the earlier spouse. The marriage is valid in canon law (often, civil law), but the guilty party goes to jail nonetheless, in that the marriage is illicit (illegal), and the innocent party routinely receives a fast annulment and the full sympathy of the court. A corollary is that the children born of such unions are inherently legitimate.