Simple Definition of elicit
: to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone
Full Definition of elicit
Examples of elicit in a sentence
If ever there was a two-way pleasure street, it's the delight a baby takes in being tickled and the joy the parent experiences in the tumble of laughter it elicits. —Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 17 Jan. 2005
Gingrich elicits perhaps the greatest sympathy when he talks about the challenge of graduating from a rabble-rousing backbencher in the House minority to presiding over (and trying to control) the first Republican majority in 40 years. —Richard L. Berke, New York Times Book Review, 17 May 1998
In a wild, captive wolf that is not socialized to man, approach will elicit flight and, if the wolf is cornered, a defensive reaction may be triggered, which is termed the critical-distance reaction. —Michael W. Fox, The Soul of the Wolf, 1980
She's been trying to elicit the support of other committee members.
My question elicited no response.
She's been unable to elicit much sympathy from the public.
Did You Know?
Elicit derives from the past participle of the Latin verb elicere, formed by combining the prefix e- with the verb lacere, meaning "to entice by charm or attraction." It is not related to its near-homophone, the adjective "illicit" - that word, meaning "unlawful," traces back to another Latin verb, licēre, meaning "to be permitted." Nor is "elicit" related to the verb "solicit," even though it sounds like it should be. Solicit derives from Latin sollicitare ("to disturb"), formed by combining the adjective sollus, meaning "whole," with the past participle of the verb ciēre, meaning "to move."
Origin of elicit
Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere, from e- + lacere to allure
First Known Use: 1605
Synonym Discussion of elicit
Seen and Heard
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