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verb so·lic·it \sə-ˈli-sət\

Simple Definition of solicit

  • : to ask for (something, such as money or help) from people, companies, etc.

  • : to ask (a person or group) for money, help, etc.

  • : to offer to have sex with (someone) in return for money

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of solicit

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to make petition to :  entreatb :  to approach with a request or plea <solicited Congress for funding>

  3. 2 :  to urge (as one's cause) strongly

  4. 3a :  to entice or lure especially into evilb :  to proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute

  5. 4 :  to try to obtain by usually urgent requests or pleas <solicited donations>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to make solicitation :  importune

  8. 2 of a prostitute :  to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money

Examples of solicit in a sentence

  1. The center is soliciting donations to help victims of the earthquake.

  2. The company is soliciting bids from various firms.

  3. The organization is soliciting new memberships.

  4. The newspaper's editors want to solicit opinions from readers.

  5. The organization is soliciting for donations.

  6. Special interest groups are soliciting Congress for funds.

  7. The prostitutes were arrested for soliciting customers.

Origin and Etymology of solicit

Middle English, to disturb, promote, from Anglo-French solliciter, from Latin sollicitare to disturb, from sollicitus anxious, from sollus whole (from Oscan; akin to Greek holos whole) + citus, past participle of ciēre to move — more at safe, -kinesis

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of solicit

ask, question, interrogate, query, inquire mean to address a person in order to gain information. ask implies no more than the putting of a question <ask for directions>. question usually suggests the asking of series of questions <questioned them about every detail of the trip>. interrogate suggests formal or official systematic questioning <the prosecutor interrogated the witness all day>. query implies a desire for authoritative information or confirmation <queried a librarian about the book>. inquire implies a searching for facts or for truth often specifically by asking questions <began to inquire of friends and teachers what career she should pursue>.

ask, request, solicit mean to seek to obtain by making one's wants known. ask implies no more than the statement of the desire <ask a favor of a friend>. request implies greater formality and courtesy <requests the pleasure of your company>. solicit suggests a calling attention to one's wants or desires by public announcement or advertisement <a letter soliciting information>.

SOLICIT Defined for Kids


verb so·lic·it \sə-ˈli-sət\

Definition of solicit for Students



  1. 1 :  to come to with a request or plea <We solicited local businesses for donations.>

  2. 2 :  to try to get by asking or pleading <They solicited the help of their neighbors.>

Law Dictionary


transitive verb so·lic·it \sə-ˈli-sət\

Legal Definition of solicit

  1. 1 :  to make petition to <solicit the court>

  2. 2 :  to ask, induce, advise, or command (a person) to do something and especially to commit a crime — compare coerce, importune

  3. 3 :  to attempt to persuade (a person) to purchase something

  4. 4 :  to attempt to bring about or obtain by soliciting a person <solicit bribes>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to make solicitation

  7. 2 of a prostitute :  to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money

Seen and Heard

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a sculptured or ornamented band

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