From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"It has frequently been remarked that popular feasts lead to excesses, and cause men to lose sight of the distinction separating the licit from the illicit ..." The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912), Émile Durkheim

Related e



  1. Not approved by law, but not invalid.
    The bigamous marriage, while illicit, was not invalid.
  2. Breaking social norms.
  3. Unlawful.


Usage notes

Licit and valid are legal terms to be compared, especially in terms of canon law. With bigamy, if there is an innocent party, the innocent party is validly married; the problem is with the guilty party, who has entered into an illegal second marriage without first divorcing the earlier spouse. The marriage is valid in canon law (and often, civil law), but the guilty party goes to jail nonetheless, in that the marriage is illicit (and illegal), and the innocent party routinely receives a fast annulment and the full sympathy of the court. A corollary is that the children born of such unions are inherently legitimate.

Illicit may refer to:

See also


Related terms

censorship - hidden - illegal - illicit - secret

Personal tools