licit was our Word of the Day on 06/28/2016. Hear the podcast!
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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
Recent Examples of licit from the Web
The only morally licit treatment of an ectopic pregnancy, for a Catholic, besides watch and wait, is the salpingectomy, on the basis that the demise of the pregnancy is an indirect effect of acting to preserve the mother’s life.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'licit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
illicit vs licit
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."
Synonymslawful, legit [slang], legitimate, legal
Antonymsillegal, illegitimate, illicit, lawless, unlawful, wrongful
Related Wordsallowable, authorized, noncriminal, permissible; justifiable, warrantable; constitutional; de jure, regulation, statutory; good, innocent, just, proper, right
Near Antonymsbad, corrupt, evil, immoral, iniquitous, reprobate, sinful, wicked, wrong; banned, criminal, forbidden, guilty, impermissible, outlawed, prohibited, unauthorized, unjust; under-the-counter, under-the-table; nonconstitutional, unconstitutional
Synonym Discussion of licit
- the lawful sovereign
- legal residents of the state
- a perfectly legitimate question about taxes
- the licit use of drugs by doctors
Seen and Heard
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