solicit

verb

so·​lic·​it sə-ˈli-sət How to pronounce solicit (audio)
solicited; soliciting; solicits

transitive verb

1
a
: to make petition to : entreat
b
: to approach with a request or plea
solicited Congress for funding
2
: to urge (something, such as one's cause) strongly
3
a
: to entice or lure especially into evil
b
: to proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute
4
: to try to obtain by usually urgent requests or pleas
solicited donations

intransitive verb

1
: to make solicitation : importune
2
of a prostitute : to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money

Did you know?

What object does solicit take?

When used as a transitive verb, solicit can take as an object either the thing being requested or the source from which the thing is requested:

Enterprising capitalists have been soliciting funds on the Internet for years, turning to a passel of sites like Kickstarter to aggregate small commitments from like-minded individuals on behalf of a new idea or worthy cause.
Dave Flessner, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, 5 Nov. 2015

County supervisors and staff spent much of the remainder of the board retreat planning for a series of focus groups that will solicit community input for the strategic plan.
Carmen Forman, The Roanoke Times, 31 Jan. 2016

They could be so nimble because they aggressively solicited a small group of doubters and broadcast their misgivings as if they were based on rigorous and systematic research.
Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007

They are among the 9,500 volunteers, says the campaign, who have signed up to solicit their friends and families by hosting individual fund-raising Web pages for Obama.
Karen Tumulty, Time, 16 July 2007

Choose the Right Synonym for solicit

ask, request, solicit mean to seek to obtain by making one's wants known.

ask implies no more than the statement of the desire.

ask a favor of a friend

request implies greater formality and courtesy.

requests the pleasure of your company

solicit suggests a calling attention to one's wants or desires by public announcement or advertisement.

a letter soliciting information

Examples of solicit in a Sentence

The center is soliciting donations to help victims of the earthquake. The company is soliciting bids from various firms. The organization is soliciting new memberships. The newspaper's editors want to solicit opinions from readers. The organization is soliciting for donations. Special interest groups are soliciting Congress for funds. The prostitutes were arrested for soliciting customers.
Recent Examples on the Web In the Chicago case, filed in March, Cloth is accused of working with two salesmen to solicit investments in a series of film projects. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 13 May 2024 Over that time, the states have conducted 16 neighborhood meetings, two open houses and five public hearings to solicit public input. Patricia Gallagher Newberry, The Enquirer, 10 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for solicit 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'solicit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, to disturb, promote, from Anglo-French solliciter, from Latin sollicitare to disturb, from sollicitus anxious, from sollus whole (from Oscan; akin to Greek holos whole) + citus, past participle of ciēre to move — more at safe, -kinesis

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of solicit was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near solicit

Cite this Entry

“Solicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solicit. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

solicit

verb
so·​lic·​it sə-ˈlis-ət How to pronounce solicit (audio)
1
: entreat, beg
especially : to approach with a request or appeal
2
: to appeal for
solicited the help of neighbors
3
a
: to lead especially into evil
b
: to approach for sinful purposes
solicitation
-ˌlis-ə-ˈtā-shən
noun

Legal Definition

solicit

transitive verb
so·​lic·​it sə-ˈli-sət How to pronounce solicit (audio)
1
: to make petition to
solicit the court
2
: to ask, induce, advise, or command (a person) to do something and especially to commit a crime compare coerce, importune
3
: to attempt to persuade (a person) to purchase something
4
: to attempt to bring about or obtain by soliciting a person
solicit bribes

intransitive verb

1
: to make solicitation
2
of a prostitute : to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money

More from Merriam-Webster on solicit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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