(noun) Sexual relations between certain members of a family.

Example: Sexual relations between a father and daughter.

Audio Pronunciation: (in┬Ěcest)

Download Audio Pronunciation: incest.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Called the incest taboo, a prohibition against incest exists in all societies but the particular relationships prohibited varies. The most common is a child and a parent or two siblings such as a brother and sister.
  • Type: adelphogamy
  • Also called inbreeding.
  • Incest used in a sentence: Rule against incest vary across societies and cultures.
  • Sexual relations between a mother and son are (adjective) incestuous.

Related Quotation:

  • “Violation of taboos is punishable by the group or even, according to certain belief systems, by a supernatural force. The incest taboo which prohibits sexual or martial relations between certain categories of kin, is an example of a nearly universal taboo” (Kendall 2006:56).

Related Terms:



Kendall, Diane. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.