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From Proto-Indo-European *leyk- (to prepare for sale). Cognate with liceor and liceō.



licet (present infinitive licēre, perfect active licuit or licitum est, future participle licitūrus); second conjugation, no passive

  1. (with dative) it is allowed; one is permitted.
    Licetne pauca?
    May I speak a word with you? (literally: Are a few [words] permitted?)
    Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi
    Gods may do what cattle may not (literally What is permissible for Jupiter is not permissible for an ox)
    • 16 BCE, Ovid, Amores 3.4:
      Cui peccare licet, peccat minus.
      To whom it is allowed to sin, sins less.
  2. (impersonal, with subjunctive or, post-classically, indicative) although, even if
    • Juvenal, Saturae 1.105:
      licet ipse negam
      even if I were to deny it


   Conjugation of licet (second conjugation, mostly impersonal, active only)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present licet licent
imperfect licēbat licēbant
future licēbit
perfect licuit,
licitum est
pluperfect licuerat,
licitum erat
future perfect licuerit,
licitum erit
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present liceat liceant
imperfect licēret
perfect licuerit,
licitum sit
pluperfect licuisset,
licitum esset
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present
future licētō licētō
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives licēre licuisse,
licitum esse
licitūrum esse
participles licēns licitus licitūrus

Derived terms[edit]



  • licet”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • licet”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • licet in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • this much I can vouch for: illud pro certo affirmare licet
    • allow me to say: pace tua dixerim or dicere liceat
    • I have no objection: per me licet
  • Pokorny, Julius (1959) Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Indo-European Etymological Dictionary] (in German), volume 2, Bern, München: Francke Verlag, page 669