elic·​it | \ i-ˈli-sət How to pronounce elicit (audio) \
elicited; eliciting; elicits

Definition of elicit

transitive verb

1 : to call forth or draw out (something, such as information or a response) her remarks elicited cheers
2 : to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential) hypnotism elicited his hidden fears

Other Words from elicit

elicitation \ i-​ˌli-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce elicit (audio) , ˌē-​ \ noun
elicitor \ i-​ˈli-​sə-​tər How to pronounce elicit (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for elicit


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Choose the Right Synonym for elicit

educe, evoke, elicit, extract, extort mean to draw out something hidden, latent, or reserved. educe implies the bringing out of something potential or latent. educed order out of chaos evoke implies a strong stimulus that arouses an emotion or an interest or recalls an image or memory. a song that evokes warm memories elicit usually implies some effort or skill in drawing forth a response. careful questioning elicited the truth extract implies the use of force or pressure in obtaining answers or information. extracted a confession from him extort suggests a wringing or wresting from one who resists strongly. extorted their cooperation by threatening to inform

The Latin Roots of Elicit

Elicit comes from the Latin verb elicere, from the prefix e-, meaning "away," and lacere, "to entice by charm or attraction."

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Diaz explained that the device has crystals that move around three plains and elicit a voltage that is read as acceleration or steps. Taylor Hartz, Hartford Courant, 2 May 2022 Doing so won’t come cheap, and would likely elicit an immediate backlash from Republicans and conservative Democrats, policy experts said. Laura Rodríguez Presa, chicagotribune.com, 7 Apr. 2022 Taste is individual and some of these picks might elicit eyerolls; maybe only fans of cosplay will gravitate toward the teddy bear textures seen at Dolce & Gabbana and in Y/Project’s menswear collection. Vogue, 5 Apr. 2022 The administration’s paltry justification failed to raise humanitarian concerns or elicit our zeal for liberty. Fortune, 25 Feb. 2022 There should be objective criteria that each candidate is evaluated on, while being mindful of how culture fit can often elicit biased hiring. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 25 Dec. 2021 Such cross-reactivity is an encouraging sign that combining different strains may elicit a more robust immune response against a number of different variants. Alice Park, Time, 19 Apr. 2022 That plot won't elicit a second playthrough; neither will the score-more-points replay mode nor a numbingly average take on online multiplayer. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 6 Apr. 2022 Stunning and vast local landscapes take a front seat and intimate shots are used to elicit high-emotion, the cast delivering exceptional performances, Spain’s press have said. Holly Jones, Variety, 2 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elicit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of elicit

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for elicit

Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere, from e- + lacere to allure

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elicit. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on elicit

Nglish: Translation of elicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elicit for Arabic Speakers


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