Definition of licit
: conforming to the requirements of the law : not forbidden by law : permissible
licit was our Word of the Day on 06/28/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of licit in a sentence
law enforcement agencies are demanding stricter regulation of the sale of licit medications that can later be used in the home manufacture of illicit drugs
Did You Know?
Licit is far less common than its antonym illicit, but you probably won't be surprised to learn that the former is the older of the two. Not by much, though: the first known use of licit in print is from 1483, whereas illicit shows up in print for the first time in 1506. For some reason illicit took off while licit just plodded along. When licit appears these days, it often modifies drugs or crops. Meanwhile, illicit shows up before words like thrill and passion (as well as gambling, relationship, activities, and, of course, drugs and crops.) The Latin word licitus, meaning "lawful," is the root of the pair; licitus itself is from licēre, meaning "to be permitted."
Origin and Etymology of licit
Medieval French licite, from Latin licitus, from past participle of licēre to be permitted — more at license
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of licit
Legal Definition of licit
: conforming to the requirements of the law : not forbidden by law
Seen and Heard
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