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 elicit (audio) , ˌē-​ \ noun
elicitor \ i-​ˈli-​sə-​tər How to pronounce elicit (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 Over the years, Dante has found that personal stories often elicit the strongest responses from viewers. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, 6 July 2021 This is not to say that their presence didn’t elicit anger or discomfort or annoyance among homeowners or that class prejudice was nonexistent; but the question of removing them from sight never felt like an option. Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 Both vaccines use adenoviruses, a type of common cold virus, to carry genetic material from the coronavirus into the body to elicit immunity. Maggie Fox, CNN, 14 Apr. 2021 And sometimes those brain calculations mean that two completely different inputs can elicit the same perception. Sara Harrison, Wired, 24 Nov. 2020 In the short term, the strong parental bond formed by play helps to elicit better behavior. Washington Post, 29 June 2021 Davidson has generated more than $4,150 in donations on her GoFundMe page set up to elicit entry fees for the 2021 season and Q-School; her goal is to raise $25,000. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 27 June 2021 The budget maneuver was intended to elicit support but backfired, with the vote failing, and lawmakers were still trying to sort through that. Becky Bohrer, Star Tribune, 24 June 2021 There was the trip to President George H.W. Bush’s summer retreat to elicit his support for one Hall candidate. Mike Bass, The Enquirer, 18 June 2021

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

eliasite

elicit

elicitable

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Statistics for elicit

Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elicit. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on elicit

Nglish: Translation of elicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elicit for Arabic Speakers

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