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 massive payout to Cole suggests city officials were cognizant that his account of what led to the shooting — which differed from the officer's story — could elicit a much higher award if the case went to a jury. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Unarmed man shot in back by IMPD officer settles lawsuit for millions," 11 July 2019 Last year, the government had missed its divestment targets partly because its stake sale in Air India elicited no bidders. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Going by Modi’s track record, the massive $15 billion divestment target is achievable," 8 July 2019 Though Smollett elicited widespread sympathy when news of the incident was first made public, he was later accused of fabricating the story. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Jussie Smollett: Chicago police share previously unseen video of rope around actor's neck," 24 June 2019 The current crisis might have been avoided if Trump had stuck to the nuclear deal and built on it, tapping the heft of Europe, Russia, and China, which together with the United States had elicited the Iranian concessions. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "What Will Follow Trump’s Cancelled Strike on Iran?," 21 June 2019 The defendant’s muted, vaguely quizzical expression rarely broke during the trial, even as prosecutor Dan Owens elicited graphic testimony of alleged oral, vaginal and anal rape from Winslow’s accusers. Robert Klemko, SI.com, "You Never Knew Kellen Winslow Jr.," 13 June 2019 The seventh-grader didn’t know that an anonymous threat – never in danger of being carried out – had elicited the response. John Woodrow Cox, The Seattle Times, "Numerous school lockdowns are traumatizing the nation’s children," 26 Dec. 2018 Post-show fireworks won’t be the only thing eliciting oohs and ahhs at Bayside Summer Nights this season. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Bayside Summer Nights launches A-list culinary lineup, with Blais, Biga, Lola 55 and more," 27 June 2019 At one point the officer attempts to close in the car door even with the girl’s leg propping it open, eliciting more screams and protests from bystanders, who were concerned that the officer would break the girl’s leg. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Viral Video Shows Michigan Police Officer Punching Handcuffed Teen Girl," 18 June 2019

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

15 Jul 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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something desired as essential

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