elicit

verb
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

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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

Synonyms

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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 And yet Howard was saddened that what happened in D.C. didn't elicit a more forceful national response. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, "Shocked and saddened, Minnesotans wonder what's next after insurrection in Washington," 9 Jan. 2021 Both of them rely on mRNA technology to elicit an immune system response in the body that helps protect you from COVID-19. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "7 Small Things You Can Do to Help Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Variants," 26 Jan. 2021 The Notre Dame defensive coordinator is very highly-regarded within the college football world, and was expected to elicit considerable coaching search interest in the future. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, "Vanderbilt set to hire Notre Dame DC Clark Lea," 14 Dec. 2020 But conditions are not expected to get dire enough to elicit a fire weather warning from the weather service. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Weak Santa Ana winds expected Tuesday, elevating San Diego’s wildfire risk," 14 Dec. 2020 Her writing — a mix of memoir and biographical art history — never fails to elicit a little soul-searching about the quirks of one’s psyche that release or bind up creativity. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, "10 great books that got lost in the noise of 2020," 10 Dec. 2020 Marder finds purpose in this quietness, allowing Ruben’s experiences to elicit emotion on their own. Washington Post, "How ‘Sound of Metal’ captured the sounds of silence," 8 Dec. 2020 There is increasing evidence that efficiency-wage proponents may be right: Higher wages can at times boost the bottom line and—crucially for the current moment—pay cuts can elicit employee backlash and even sabotage. Ray Fisman And Michael Luca, WSJ, "The Case for Higher Wages in Hard Times," 21 Jan. 2021 For Sincere, now 7, and his siblings, water from taps can elicit fear similar to the boogeyman or dark closets. The Christian Science Monitor, "Flint looks for justice as ex-governor charged in water crisis," 14 Jan. 2021

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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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elicit. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for elicit

elicit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of elicit

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

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Comments on elicit

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