All Words > Licit

Sunday, February 20

Licit

[LIH-sit]

Part of speech: Adjective

Origin: Latin, 15th Century

1.

Not forbidden; lawful.

Examples of Licit in a sentence

"Jim was quick to stress that his collection of tropical birds was completely licit."

"When the U.S. ended Prohibition, the illicit production of alcohol became licit again."

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About Licit

From the Latin “licitus,” meaning “allowed.” The past participle of “licitus” is “licere” (meaning “to be allowed”). The word “license” (meaning “permission,” or describing a document granting permission) comes from that offshoot of “licitus.”

Did you Know?

While lesser known, “licit” predated its antonym “illicit” by at least a hundred years, and, until the end of the 19th century, “licit” was more commonly used than the illegal version. Naturally what is considered lawful changes from place to place, and from one system of laws and social customs to the next. For example, selling alcohol is licit every day of the week in most parts of the U.S., but some counties and municipalities have made the sale of alcohol illicit on Sundays or during certain hours of the day.

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