Examples of illicit in a Sentence
- The wedding is mounted in traditional Punjabi style, but underneath the formal fanfare simmer dysfunctional-family tensions, deep dark secrets, … and illicit affairs. —David Ansen, Newsweek, 4 Mar. 2002
- "Thank you, Lieutenant," she said, bowing her head, just as she might in everyday, civilian life, and I felt suddenly illicit in her presence, as though we'd slipped out of sight of our chaperons … —Chang-rae Lee, A Gesture Life, 1999
- The companies that carry cellular … have adopted a number of monitoring techniques to detect illicit calls … —Paul Wallich, Scientific American, March 1994
He was arrested for selling illicit copies of the software.
She had an illicit affair with her boss.
Recent Examples of illicit from the Web
Investigators say the case also illustrates how extravagant spending sometimes is used as a way to launder illicit funds.
This is on top of a thriving black market for such foreign materials facilitated by cross-border trade (both legal and illicit) with China.
Matt Schroeder, a senior researcher at Small Arms Survey, which tracks illicit weapons transfers, told me in an interview that many of the weapons seized or documented in Afghanistan are old—sometimes going back decades.
The illicit cargo was hidden inside a tractor-trailer truck ostensibly transporting grocery supplies from Mexico City to Tijuana.
The Honest Accounts report estimates that illicit capital outflows from sub-Saharan Africa alone totaled $67.6 billion in a single recent year and that the continent is a net creditor to the world to the tune of $41.3 billion per year.
Normally rivals, Gonzales brought the three gangs together to control the drug trade and other illicit activities in an area of Los Angeles that spanned along the Los Angeles River from Elysian Park to near Burbank.
According to James Henry, a former chief economist at McKinsey & Company who consulted on the Panama Papers, since the 1990s, some $1.3 trillion in illicit capital had poured out of Russia, meaning that hordes of cash needed to be laundered.
Black Twitter Cameos: Scandal's Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) turns up with this week for an illicit affair with Regina Hall’s Due North character.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'illicit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Illicit and elicit
Illicit, while not exactly an everyday word, is far more common than its antonym, licit ("not forbidden by law, permissible"). Perhaps this is a function of our oft-noted fascination with bad behavior and boredom with rectitude. In any case, illicit may be used of behavior that is either unlawful or immoral. These categories frequently overlap, but they are not always synonymous, as some unlawful activities (illicit cigarette smoking) may not be considered immoral, while some immoral activities (an illicit affair) are not illegal. Illicit is occasionally confused with elicit because of the similarity in their pronunciations, but the two words have decidedly different meanings and functions: in contemporary English, elicit is a verb meaning "to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone," while illicit appears solely as an adjective.
Synonymscriminal, felonious, illegitimate, illegal, lawless, unlawful, wrongful
Antonymslawful, legal, legitimate
Related Wordsbad, evil, immoral, shameful, sinful, unethical, wicked, wrong; blamable, blameworthy, censurable, reprehensible; banned, barred, contraband, criminalized, disallowed, discouraged, forbidden, interdicted, outlawed, prohibited, proscribed; adulterine, bootleg, unauthorized, unlicensed, unsanctioned; under-the-counter, under-the-table; corrupt, unprincipled, unscrupulous, villainous
Near Antonymsethical, good, just, principled, right, righteous, virtuous; allowed, permitted; authorized, licensed; approved, endorsed (also indorsed), sanctioned; abetted, encouraged, promoted, suggested, supported; correct, decent, decorous, proper, seemly
ILLICIT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of illicit for English Language Learners
: not allowed by law : unlawful or illegal
: involving activities that are not considered morally acceptable
ILLICIT Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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