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

Nankoweap Trail Few wilderness trails anywhere elicit as much praise as the Nankoweap Trail. Robert Earle Howells, National Geographic, "Discover the Grand Canyon's less-trafficked trails," 12 June 2019 When Amos punctured the balloon, a cloud of pink dust puffed out, eliciting squeals and hollers from those gathered around an old oak tree for the ceremony, Fox 13 News reported. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida couple uses pet alligator for gender reveal for family’s 10th child," 12 June 2019 And if Mexico’s efforts don’t pan out, Trump can blame the López Obrador government and revive his tariff threat to elicit a stronger response. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Trump: Some aspects of Mexico deal are still secret," 10 June 2019 Of course, for Trump’s troll base, Bolton’s main selling point is his capacity to elicit liberal tears and piss off the president’s enemies—the ultimate coin of the realm in MAGA-land. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "“Screw Nation Building”: Why the Trump Base Loves John Bolton," 5 Apr. 2018 Throughout the regular season, asking him about his reticence to shoot was one of the few ways to elicit a bristle in his flat-line facade. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Celtics' NBA playoff win teaches Sixers a lot about where they need to go from here | David Murphy," 10 May 2018 Last Sunday's episode of Game Of Thrones was full of controversial and gut-wrenching scenes that elicited some pretty strong responses from viewers. Glamour, "This Is What Jaime Said Off-Screen That Made Brienne Cry on Game of Thrones," 9 May 2019 Watching the 1995 film Forrest Gump can elicit sincere emotion and pleasure or more negative responses in viewers, depending on one's subjective cinematic tastes. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "What watching Forrest Gump tells us about how we store memories," 18 Oct. 2018 The posts went viral, unleashing a national controversy that has dragged on since, dominating media coverage and even eliciting response from top government officials. Karina Piser, The New Republic, "Inside France’s Growing Identity War," 29 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

17 Jun 2019

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

formal : 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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