illicit

Illicit means not allowed by law or custom. It's illegal to kill endangered elephants, but many poachers still engage in the Illicit ivory trade.

Illicit usually refers to something that is not morally proper or acceptable. Illicit activities — like smuggling or counterfeiting — happen under the radar of the law. Illicit is from Latin illicitus, from the prefix in-, "not," plus licitus, "lawful."

Definitions of illicit
  1. adjective
    contrary to accepted morality (especially sexual morality) or convention
    Synonyms:
    adulterous, extracurricular, extramarital
    characterized by adultery
    unlawful
    not morally right or permissible
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    licit
    sanctioned by custom or morality especially sexual morality
  2. adjective
    contrary to or forbidden by law
    illicit trade”
    synonyms: illegitimate, outlaw, outlawed, unlawful
    illegal
    prohibited by law or by official or accepted rules
Word Family