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

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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 guidelines, which encouraged people of color to wear brightly colored masks with decorative fabric, also urged: ‘‘Avoid fabrics that elicit deeply held stereotypes. BostonGlobe.com, "Trump calls houses of worship ‘essential services’," 22 May 2020 To comb through the chaos, Amazon assembled teams to screen for copyright violations that might elicit lawsuits threatening its bottom line. ProPublica, "The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists," 8 Apr. 2020 Contrast that with what the sight of people in face masks elicit in the United States: fear, uncertainty, xenophobia. Connie Wang, refinery29.com, "What It Means To Wear A Face Mask In America," 11 Mar. 2020 Such changes often elicit fear of the unknown, and in this case, one of the unknowns is how machines make decisions. Karthik Kannan, The Conversation, "How can we make sure that algorithms are fair?," 16 Dec. 2019 The truck’s unusual appearance made a splash online after Thursday’s unveiling, as The Washington Post’s Faiz Siddiqui reported: The design elicited a mixture of awe and scorn, and very little in between. Hannah Knowles, Washington Post, "Tesla already has 146,000 orders for its futuristic Cybertruck, Elon Musk says," 24 Nov. 2019 At least eight pop stars from mainland China and one each from Taiwan and Hong Kong are publicly stating their support for Beijing's one-China policy, eliciting a mixture of disappointment and understanding from fans. Fortune, "Chinese Pop Stars Publicly Back Beijing on Hong Kong," 19 Aug. 2019 Subunit vaccines: These are bare-bones vaccines that include only a component of a dangerous virus to elicit immune responses. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "The Ars COVID-19 vaccine primer: 100-plus in the works, 8 in clinical trials," 1 May 2020 These specific body poses are the result of watching live bird interactions to settle on specific postures that elicit specific responses. Tony J. Peterson, Outdoor Life, "7 Tips for Bowhunting Turkeys this Spring," 9 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for elicit

Time Traveler

The first known use of elicit was in 1605

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Statistics for elicit

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elicit. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for elicit

elicit

verb
How to pronounce elicit (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elicit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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