incest

noun
in·​cest | \ˈin-ˌsest \

Definition of incest 

: sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry also : the statutory crime of such a relationship

Examples of incest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Under the administration of President Barack Obama, the government did not pay for abortions for teens in custody except in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the woman's life. Author: Ann E. Marimow, Anchorage Daily News, "Judge clears abortions for two immigrant teens in US custody Updates with court action," 19 Dec. 2017 Our great grandchildren will be arguing about the ethics of incest well after we're buried in the cold ground. Matt Miller, Esquire, "There Will Be Absolutely No Shortage of Game of Thrones for the Foreseeable Future," 20 Sep. 2017 Game of Thrones: About That Hookup—Megan Garber argues that incest in the show is a metaphor for insularity, myopia, and people’s unwillingness to see beyond themselves. The Editors, The Atlantic, "The Atlantic’s Week in Culture," 1 Sep. 2017 Jones said the bill, which prohibited abortions after 20 weeks, mandated certain requirements be met to permit abortions after 20 weeks in the case of a medical emergency, rape or incest. Paul Gattis, AL.com, "Doug Jones speaks on abortion issue, wants 'to be clear' on where he stands," 2 Nov. 2017 Such role-playing can involve both age play, in which one partner pretends or both partners pretend to be an age other than their own, and incest fantasies. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "11 of the Most Common Sexual Fetishes," 1 Nov. 2017 No public subsidies can be used, except in cases that involve rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother. Time, "Donald Trump to Allow More Employers to Deny No-Cost Birth Control for Religious Reasons," 6 Oct. 2017 And yet the House voted this week 237-189 for a bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest, or a direct threat to the mother’s life. Hillary Kelly, Glamour, "The 20-Week Abortion Ban Won't Become Law. It Should Still Scare You," 5 Oct. 2017 The legislation would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks except for cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Senators, Pass the Ban on the Abortion of Fetuses Capable of Feeling Pain," 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of incest

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incest

Middle English, from Latin incestus sexual impurity, from incestus impure, from in- + castus pure — more at caste

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incest

Statistics for incest

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incest

The first known use of incest was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incest

incest

noun

English Language Learners Definition of incest

: sexual intercourse between people who are very closely related

incest

noun
in·​cest | \ˈin-ˌsest \

Medical Definition of incest 

: sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry also : the statutory crime of engaging in such sexual intercourse

incest

noun
in·​cest | \ˈin-ˌsest \

Legal Definition of incest 

: sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry also : the crime of engaging in such sexual intercourse

History and Etymology for incest

Latin incestus sexual impurity, from incestus impure, from in- not + castus pure

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on incest

What made you want to look up incest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to express warning or disapproval

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!