Definition of incestuous in US English:



  • 1Involving or guilty of incest.

    ‘the child of an incestuous relationship’
    • ‘But is it not true that the child conceived as a result of a rape or incestuous relation is also a victim?’
    • ‘Stead portrays the relationship between Katherine and Leslie as incestuous.’
    • ‘He claimed that the marriage was incestuous and illegal, as Catherine had been married to his dead brother, Arthur.’
    • ‘They also involved themselves in incestuous marriages in a like manner of the Pharaohs.’
    • ‘In several cases of incestuous abuse, the effects of breach of trust were extended to the family unit itself.’
    • ‘Despite all that solicitude for the privacy of would-be spouses, the prohibition on incestuous marriages stands.’
    • ‘The incestuous marriage between Oedipus and Jocasta, a fruitful symbiotic union, had continued for seventeen years when the play Oedipus Rex begins.’
    • ‘Cousin marriages between two adults are not, of course, incestuous in this sense.’
    • ‘Later we have his incestuous seduction by his half-sister Morgan Le Fay, and the love triangle among Arthur, Lancelot, and Guinevere.’
    • ‘How did those incestuous acts and their interpretation function in relationship to other ideas about the family, gender, sexuality, and the social order?’
    • ‘Rather, it only contains the usual bans on bigamous or incestuous marriage.’
    • ‘As the feminists saw it, bringing incestuous rape out of the closet would finally vindicate the truth of women's experience.’
    • ‘Psychotherapists' opinions, practices, and experiences with recovery of memories of incestuous abuse.’
    • ‘The question in this appeal is whether there are different policy objectives animating the breach of a parent's fiduciary duty as compared with incestuous sexual assault.’
    • ‘Holding open the prospect of incestuous marriage would devastate family life by, effectively, legitimizing sexual predation within it.’
    • ‘After a major mobilization against rape, it turned its attention to the violence of incestuous familial relations.’
    • ‘A sledgehammer leans against the wall behind him; Gillespie's ominous drawing of the incestuous mother and son hangs on the opposite wall.’
    • ‘The title of the film refers to a clause in global law forbidding incestuous sexual relations.’
    • ‘That group includes affines, based upon the theological idea that as husband and wife were one, marriage to a sister-in-law was as incestuous as marriage to a sister.’
    • ‘Wotan's lawful wife, Fricka, forbids this - she is outraged by disobedience to proper marriage vows and she demands the death of the incestuous twins.’
  • 2(of human relations generally) excessively close and resistant to outside influence.

    ‘the incestuous nature of literary journalism’
    • ‘Here, the incestuous relationship between high public office and big business is so obvious that it discredits official politics.’
    • ‘Over there, they say, gigantic uncompetitive cartels have an incestuous relationship with government, leading to corruption at all levels.’
    • ‘The relationship between major corporations and the government isn't incestuous, because the politicians are pawns, not bedfellows.’
    • ‘These incestuous relationships between industry and the U.S. government are the norm rather than the exception.’
    • ‘Yet the paper of record is chasing an editor who edits a magazine that is, by its very nature, in an incestuous relationship with the movie business while the other story lays there.’
    • ‘The First Minister's downfall has led to the lid being lifted on the incestuous relationships between Labour politicians, activists, private companies and the state.’
    • ‘The Canberra press gallery has too incestuous a relationship with politicians.’
    • ‘One detects in their commentary a note of annoyance that the incestuous relations between corporate interests and government have emerged so openly.’
    • ‘Given the incestuous nature of politics, most of the top campaign staffers know each other from prior campaigns.’
    • ‘The incestuous relationship between the BBC and the Government is a disgrace.’
    • ‘The deal is interesting because of the complex and somewhat incestuous relationship between Caldera, SCO, Microsoft, Citrix, and Novell.’
    • ‘And, like all incestuous political organizations, at times the power of the mob falls into the hands of less-than-capable leaders.’
    • ‘A small tight knit crowd, almost incestuous in its relationships, giving rise to complex situations which seem to skitter out of control.’
    • ‘I have mentioned the incestuous relationships between car manufacturers the world over, and the Suzuki-Nissan is typical of what is happening.’
    • ‘The incestuous relationships between regulators and the industries they are supposed to regulate have been exposed.’
    • ‘As an aside, this incestuous relationship between the tour and Sky also led to the reprehensible sale of the Ryder Cup to a satellite channel to which only a small percentage of the country's golfers subscribe.’
    • ‘They are so freakish that no one in their right mind would ever associate with them outside of their little incestuous group, anyway.’
    • ‘But the brass business is what might be termed incestuous and it isn't rare for one of the ‘majors’ to make brass for another.’
    • ‘Not in a legal sense clearly, but it is difficult not to regard this incestuous relationship between party and state as somehow improper.’
    • ‘Not that the integrity of the independent directors is at issue in the Smurfit case but simply the incestuous nature of the markets which tends to favour the big money.’


Early 16th century: from late Latin incestuosus, from Latin incestus (see incest).