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
Placement techniques include structuring currency deposits in amounts below the $10,000 reporting requirement for banks, or commingling the illicit funds with money from legal activities.
The latter illicit transactions were flagged internally in the bank concerned as suspicious, but I am reliably informed that it was told by the U.K. headquarters to ignore it.
Like builders, fixers like Badici also relied on illicit dealers.
The young woman awaits her lover, symbolized by the cello leaning against the wall, while the painting on the wall portrays illicit love.
The law enforcement officers had been recruited by three men charged with purchasing and re-selling the tobacco products for illicit profit.
Until now the spotlight has focused mainly on their smuggling activities in Europe and Asia, but a new report reveals that Africa and its wildlife also feature prominently in North Korea’s illicit portfolio.
An opioid medication designed to reduce cravings for opioids such as illicit prescription painkillers and heroin.
And as diplomatic relations and travel regulations thaw between the U.S. and Cuba, more Americans are becoming interested in all things Cuba, with certain illicit agricultural products at the top of their minds.
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).