[ ih-lis-it ]
See synonyms for: illicitillicitlyillicitness on

  1. not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful.

  2. disapproved of or not permitted for moral or ethical reasons.

Compare Meanings

Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.

Origin of illicit

First recorded in 1645–55; from Latin illicitus, equivalent to il-2 + licit

synonym study For illicit

1. See illegal.

Other words for illicit

Other words from illicit

  • il·lic·it·ly, adverb
  • il·lic·it·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with illicit

Words Nearby illicit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use illicit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for illicit


/ (ɪˈlɪsɪt) /

  1. another word for illegal

  2. not allowed or approved by common custom, rule, or standard: illicit sexual relations

Derived forms of illicit

  • illicitly, adverb
  • illicitness, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012