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

The Danish producer never fails to elicit genuine emotion with his work -- and doubly so for anyone lucky enough to catch him on a dancefloor. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "15 Must-See Dance Acts at Coachella 2018," 11 Apr. 2018 Practicing meditation or yoga may help elicit a relaxation response to offset stress, Dr. Ward says. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "7 Signs You're Dealing With Anxiety," 3 Apr. 2019 What is striking is the degree to which Pahari paintings also map and elicit reactions to the divine. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India’ Review: Multifaceted Devotion," 16 Feb. 2019 Some of them hardly say a world while others shout out answers for nearly every question — and skin care is one topic that elicits considerable enthusiasm, especially from Dawon. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Interview: K-Pop Group SF9 Shares Their Skin-Care Secrets & Biggest Confidence Boosters," 18 Mar. 2019 This sly reference to Grace elicited even bigger laughter. Karan Mahajan, The New Republic, "After the Strongman," 26 Mar. 2018 The first half of the movie elicits some uncomfortable giggles with some jump scares here and there. Drew Fortune, Esquire, "Jordan Peele's Get Out Was Originally More Disturbing," 1 Mar. 2017 Depending on the skin, these sights, sounds, and sensations may combine forces to elicit a soothing feeling over the span of a few minutes—or ramp up the intensity in particularly tribal or club-like fashion. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Tetris Effect review: The puzzle game of my dreams—literally," 9 Nov. 2018 The three appeared in a video and stills designed to elicit the family bond of three generations of women. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "North West makes modeling debut alongside mom Kim Kardashian West and grandma Kris Jenner," 10 July 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

22 Apr 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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