in·​ces·​tu·​ous | \ in-ˈses-chə-wəs How to pronounce incestuous (audio) , -ˈsesh- \

Definition of incestuous

1 : constituting or involving incest
2 : guilty of incest
3 : excessively or improperly intimate or exclusive "… mainstream fashion magazines have an incestuous relationship with advertisers, and that undermines integrity."— Ike Ude

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Other Words from incestuous

incestuously adverb
incestuousness noun

Examples of incestuous in a Sentence

There were rumors that the father and daughter had had an incestuous relationship.
Recent Examples on the Web Or the antiabortion pastor willing to overlook the apparent incestuous nature of a pregnancy in order to persuade a young woman to bring it to term. Mary Mcnamara Culture Columnist And Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Why I’m not laughing at the new ‘Borat’ movie," 28 Oct. 2020 The implication was something incestuous or untoward, so the overwhelming response could not have been what Cardillo was hoping for. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and the politics of unconditional love," 25 Oct. 2020 In 1905, Sterling built a house in Carmel and became a central figure in a stimulating, if sometimes incestuous, colony of writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals. Gary Kamiya,, "S.F.’s unofficial poet laureate thrived in ‘cool, grey city of love’ — for a time," 16 Oct. 2020 Similarly, the narrator of The Bay of Noon travels to Naples on a work assignment, but also as an attempt to escape her incestuous love for her brother. Lauren Oyler, Harper's Magazine, "Le Mot Juste," 15 Sep. 2020 Caligula, the Roman emperor best known for his profligacy, sadism, rumored incestuous relationships and unhealthy obsession with a horse, wasn’t exactly handsome. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Peer Into the Past With Photorealistic Portraits of Roman Emperors," 13 Aug. 2020 Towne’s ex-girlfriend, the dancer Barrie Chase, told him that her father had had an incestuous relationship with her half sister, who was her mother’s daughter, which morphed its way into the film’s climactic scene. Janet Maslin, New York Times, "It’s ‘Chinatown,’ Jake. On Second Thought, Don’t Forget It.," 4 Feb. 2020 Another penguin couple is in an extreme, semi-incestuous May-December relationship with an age difference of 17 years (FYI, Cape penguins live about 20 years). Aj Willingham, CNN, "Dramatic penguins, a miracle kidney match and a very delicious cake," 6 Dec. 2019 Among the most dramatic are that Ovid knew of an incestuous affair between Augustus and his daughter Julia, or that Ovid had a dalliance with Livia, the emperor’s wife. Esteban Berché, National Geographic, "Did Ovid's erotic poetry lead to his exile from Rome?," 26 Nov. 2019

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

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First Known Use of incestuous

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of incestuous was in 1532

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Cite this Entry

“Incestuous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce incestuous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of incestuous

: involving sexual intercourse between closely related people : involving incest


in·​ces·​tu·​ous | \ in-ˈses(h)-chə-wəs How to pronounce incestuous (audio) \

Medical Definition of incestuous

1 : constituting or involving incest
2 : of, relating to, or guilty of incest infantile incestuous wishes of the Oedipus complex

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Nglish: Translation of incestuous for Spanish Speakers

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