elicit

verb
elic·​it | \i-ˈli-sət \
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

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Other Words from elicit

elicitation \i-​ˌli-​sə-​ˈtā-​shən, ˌē-​ \ noun
elicitor \i-​ˈli-​sə-​tər \ noun

Synonyms for elicit

Synonyms

educe, evoke, inspire, raise

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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 derives from the past participle of the Latin verb elicere, formed by combining the prefix e- (meaning "away") 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."

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most fragrances smell strong to me and elicit all kinds of emotions. Jessica Matlin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Rooney Mara Breaks Down Her Beauty Routine," 11 Oct. 2018 Obviously everyone was so upset and the character's death elicited thousands of tweets, memes, and hashtags. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "11 Things to Know About "Sierra Burgess is a Loser" Star Shannon Purser," 23 Aug. 2018 At times, new episodes elicit the same emotions as the first season, but sometimes the shtick falls flat. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Too much, too soon? 'Queer Eye' and reality shows that return too quickly," 15 June 2018 Grocery stores selling foreign foods have proliferated, says one councillor proudly, and foreign languages no longer elicit surprise. The Economist, "How a small town in North Dakota got its groove back," 7 June 2018 The complexity unfolds in layers and each bite elicits a different impression. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gran Electrica in Napa: Mexican cuisine straight outta Brooklyn," 31 May 2018 So when the news broke that a candidate for the Kershaw County (S.C.) Council had once posed in blackface, the staff at The Root could barely elicit a collective yawn. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "South Carolina County Council Candidate Posed in Blackface; Community Outraged, but The Root Staff Is Unimpressed," 23 May 2018 Gates said, mimicking the flight path of Trump’s helicopter with his hand, eliciting another round of laughs. Bess Levin, The Hive, "Bill Gates: Trump Is Even Dumber Than You Thought," 18 May 2018 Capitol Peak, in contrast, was a real climb—the kind of mountain where a summit selfie or video of the Knife Edge traverse would attract people’s notice and elicit admiring and envious comments. The Atlantic, "Is Social Media Luring Hikers Into 'Death Gully'?," 17 May 2018

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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near elicit

Elian

Elias

eliasite

elicit

elicitable

elicitate

elide

Statistics for elicit

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elicit

The first known use of elicit was in 1605

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More Definitions for elicit

elicit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elicit

: to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone

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More from Merriam-Webster on elicit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elicit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elicit

Spanish Central: Translation of elicit

Nglish: Translation of elicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elicit for Arabic Speakers

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