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
Williams, nominated in November by President Donald Trump to remain in the job, indicated that his office would target the state's illicit marijuana operations -- which are thriving, according to state and federal law enforcement authorities.
The delicate verve of its ink-and-color-on-silk composition vividly conveys its two lovers’ sense of drifting in a watery illicit limbo.
Spokesmen for the tax agency and for the presidency said earlier this year the government had begun a campaign to audit nonprofit groups to assure they weren’t being used to launder illicit funds.
But as regulators and doctors have restricted the flow of prescription pills, more and more Americans are starting with heroin, homemade fentanyl, and other illicit opioids.
Stray hairs are another telltale signal that there might be another woman in a man’s life, and hair often takes on symbolic meaning in tales of tortured or illicit love.
To learn more, the group surveyed more than 1,000 people across the country about their experiences buying illicit drugs at music festivals, sneaking them in the area, and the potential consequences that followed.
Was the timing of this illicit operation and the loans to Trump coincidental?
This does not include thousands more pieces and goods that were merely counted, not measured, plus smaller quantities from other countries and any illicit exports.
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
ILLICIT Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up illicit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).