Origin of illicitFrench illicite from Classical Latin illicitus, not allowed: see in- and licit
An example of illicit is the use of illegal drugs.
- 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.
- As a port it was notorious for its smuggling and illicit trade.
- An important consequence of thus giving the study of primitive religion the wide scope of a comparative hierology is that magic is no longer divorced from religion, since the sacred will now be found to be coextensive with the magicoreligious, that largely undifferentiated plasm out of which religion and magic slowly take separate shape as society comes more and more to contrast legitimate with illicit modes of dealing with the sacred.
- When the source of the name was forgotten its meaning was not unnaturally misinterpreted, and gained for Gawain the reputation of a facile morality, which was exaggerated by the pious compilers of the later Grail romances into persistent and aggravated wrong-doing; at the same time it is to be noted that Gawain is never like Tristan and Lancelot, the hero of an illicit connexion maintained under circumstances of falsehood and treachery.
- But now that the grandi were suppressed politically, the lowest classes came into prominence, "adventurers without sense or virtue and of no authority for the most part, who had usurped public offices by illicit and dishonest practices" (Matteo Villani, iv.
- There is no reason to credit the scandalous reports of an illicit attachment.