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 Eschewing the hard-hitting bullet points, pithy slogans, and data graphics of many slide decks, Eliasson’s presentation, like his art, was a masterclass in eliciting an audience’s awe and curiosity. Anne Quito, Quartz, "The best slide deck about climate change comes from a Danish-Icelandic artist," 28 Sep. 2019 When Ames returned to the United States, she was recruited by the FBI to go undercover and secretly record a reunion with Kathy Patrick in hopes of eliciting a confession. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Is justice out of reach for an American teacher murdered in South Korea?," 10 Aug. 2019 What is the secret to eliciting our love more than our envy and unfollowing? Sabrina Rojas Weiss, refinery29.com, "Use These Celeb Vacation Instagram Captions On Your Next Getaway," 5 July 2019 The firm has helped clients by covertly eliciting damaging information about competitors or legal opponents, among other things. Jacquie Mcnish, WSJ, "Black Cube: The Bumbling Spies of the ‘Private Mossad’," 18 June 2019 One of the bedrooms features a circular bed and a rock wall, at once eliciting awe and bewilderment. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "This eclectic, circular midcentury house could be yours for $1.7M," 16 Aug. 2018 That Verlander lasted 16 batters without eliciting at least one whiff was emblematic of his inefficient evening. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros drop Game 6 of World Series to Nationals," 30 Oct. 2019 Each year, the switch of balmy, languid days for long nights and brisk winds elicits a parallel beauty adjustment. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez’s New Haircut Brings Summertime Swagger to the Holiday Season," 12 Nov. 2019 AccuWeather's long-range forecasting approach has elicited criticism across the meteorological enterprise for being overly specific and not communicating uncertainty. Matthew Cappucci, chicagotribune.com, "Science says ‘specific’ weather forecasts can’t be made more than 10 days in advance," 7 Nov. 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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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 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Elicit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eliciting. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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