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

Gillum, a Tallahassee mayor who had elicited national excitement in a year of banner Democratic candidates, had previously conceded the race on election night, only to withdraw that when Florida announced a recount for the gubernatorial race. Caroline Houck, Vox, "Andrew Gillum concedes Florida gubernatorial race," 17 Nov. 2018 Is there a single movie studio whose films elicit more of an emotional response than Pixar? Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The definitive ranking of all 20 Pixar movies (including 'Incredibles 2')," 13 June 2018 Rams lawyers elicited testimony that Bush may have heard and felt a pop in his knee before reaching the concrete strip off the sidelines. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Reggie Bush’s Trial Win vs. Rams Could Be Precedent for More Athletes Filing Injury Lawsuits," 13 June 2018 The cast of the show believes in the 5-on-1 interview format and takes pride in pushing newsmakers hard, eliciting interesting views and information from interviews that might otherwise be purely promotional in nature. Jeremy Barr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The View' Cast Is Getting Used to Being In the Eye of the Political Storm," 1 June 2018 But as in the breaking of any mob of cheap thugs, eliciting testimony may have to include plea-bargaining or even granting some individuals immunity. Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 The one product that elicits quite a bit of creative license in its marketing nomenclature: mascara. Sable Yong, Allure, "Why Are Mascara Names So Damn Thirsty?," 25 Sep. 2018 These matters have elicited condemnations at the U.N. and demands for international investigations. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Lee A. Casey, WSJ, "Saudi Probe Is Not a Job For the U.N.," 23 Oct. 2018 Still, none of West’s previous actions have elicited as much furor as his recent support of Donald Trump, his assertion that four centuries of slavery sounded like a choice—by the enslaved, or his cozying up to right-wing charlatans. Julian Kimble, GQ, "So Appalled: Kanye West Fans Debate What to Do with All that Yeezy Merch," 22 June 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

11 Feb 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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