solicit

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

Definition of solicit

transitive verb

1a : 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
3a : 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

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Synonyms for solicit

Synonyms

canvass (also canvas), interview, poll, survey

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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

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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Lawyers for Epstein said their client has stayed clean since pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution charges in Florida in 2008 and that the federal government is reneging on the plea deal. Washington Post, "Deemed dangerous, Epstein denied bail in sex abuse case," 18 July 2019 Lawyers for Epstein said their client has stayed clean since pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution charges in Florida in 2008 and that the federal government is reneging on the plea deal. Larry Enumeister, BostonGlobe.com, "Jeffrey Epstein denied bail in sex trafficking case," 18 July 2019 Epstein ultimately pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting minors for prostitution, and served a 13-month sentence in a Florida county jail. NBC News, "Jeffrey Epstein's lawyers: He had a doctored passport to ward off hijackers, terrorists," 16 July 2019 He also was convicted in 2008 of soliciting, inducing and promoting prostitution in Hennepin County. Katrina Pross, Twin Cities, "St. Paul coffee shop owner who sexually assaulted 15-year-old girl sentenced to 12 years in prison," 11 July 2019 Under the once-secret deal — overseen by Alexander Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney in Miami at the time and is now Trump’s labor secretary — Epstein pleaded guilty to state charges of soliciting a minor for prostitution. Jim Mustian, The Denver Post, "Wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein charged with molesting dozens of girls," 8 July 2019 The charges come 11 years after the billionaire was sentenced to 18 months in jail for soliciting prostitution. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Jeffrey Epstein Charged With Federal Conspiracy to Commit Sex Trafficking of Minors," 8 July 2019 So Taz agreed to participate in a sting operation, to help catch Leon Jacob in the act of soliciting a murder: Leon Jacob [on the phone]: Hello? Moataz Azzeh: Hey, what's up man. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Houston doctor charged in murder-for-hire plot goes to trial," 6 July 2019 The feting and gala ceremony in his honor in Jerusalem offered Kraft a welcome reprieve just four months after he was charged with soliciting a prostitute at a Florida massage parlor. Aron Heller, Houston Chronicle, "Israel honors Patriots owner Robert Kraft amid solicitation case," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'solicit.' 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 solicit

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

History and Etymology for solicit

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

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Learn More about solicit

Dictionary Entries near solicit

solferino

solgel

soli

solicit

solicitant

solicitation

soliciter

Statistics for solicit

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for solicit

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

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More Definitions for solicit

solicit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of solicit

formal
: to ask for (something, such as money or help) from people, companies, etc.
: to ask (a person or group) for money, help, etc.
: to offer to have sex with (someone) in return for money

solicit

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

Kids Definition of solicit

1 : to come to with a request or plea We solicited local businesses for donations.
2 : to try to get by asking or pleading They solicited the help of their neighbors.

solicit

transitive verb
so·​lic·​it | \ sə-ˈli-sət How to pronounce solicit (audio) \

Legal Definition of solicit

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on solicit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with solicit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solicit

Spanish Central: Translation of solicit

Nglish: Translation of solicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solicit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on solicit

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