sexual intercourse between closely related persons.
the crime of sexual intercourse, cohabitation, or marriage between persons within the degrees of consanguinity or affinity wherein marriage is legally forbidden.

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin incestus (noun) sexual impurity, derivative of incestus (adj.) profane, sexually impure (in- in-3 + -cestus combining form of castus chaste), by analogy with v. nouns derived with -tus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
incest (ˈɪnsɛst)
sexual intercourse between two persons commonly regarded as too closely related to marry
[C13: from Latin incestus incest (from adj: impure, defiled), from in-1 + castuschaste]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "the crime of sexual intercourse between near kindred," from L. incestum "unchastity," also specifically "sex between close relatives," noun use of neut. adj. incestus "unchaste, impure," from in- "not" + castus "pure" (see caste). In early use also in ref. to
sexual relations or marriage with one under a vow of chastity (sometimes distinguished as spiritual incest).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

incest in·cest (ĭn'sěst')

  1. Sexual relations between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom.

  2. The statutory crime of sexual relations with such a near relative.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

incest definition

Sexual relations between relatives who are forbidden by law to marry; for example, between father and daughter or mother and son.

Note: Though each society has its own system for determining the range of people who fall into this category, every society has an incest taboo of some sort.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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