elicit

play
verb elic·it \i-ˈli-sət\

Definition of elicit

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to draw forth or bring out (something latent or potential) hypnotism elicited his hidden fears

  3. 2 :  to call forth or draw out (something, such as information or a response) her remarks elicited cheers

elicitation

play \i-ˌli-sə-ˈtā-shən, ˌē-\ noun

elicitor

play \i-ˈli-sə-tər\ noun

elicit was our Word of the Day on 11/10/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of elicit in a Sentence

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. She's been trying to elicit the support of other committee members.

  5. My question elicited no response.

  6. She's been unable to elicit much sympathy from the public.

Recent Examples of elicit from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of elicit

Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere, from e- + lacere to allure

Synonym Discussion of 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

ELICIT Defined for English Language Learners

elicit

play
verb

Definition of elicit for English Language Learners

  • : to get (a response, information, etc.) from someone



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up elicit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!