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

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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 Women take to the page to solicit advice — or simply make contact with the outside world during 3 a.m. feedings — and often wind up sharing their frustrations and, yes, secrets. EW.com, "J. Courtney Sullivan's newest novel 'Friends and Strangers' is the latest of her self-fulfilling prophecies," 29 June 2020 That year, and every year that followed, saw organizers solicit films from the public with optional content requirements that would prove the film was made specifically for the event. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Hump!, the online porn fest that wouldn’t have happened without quarantine," 26 June 2020 The school district will solicit parent feedback next month on the details of school operations and instruction. Alia Malik, ExpressNews.com, "Adding flexibility for possible campus closures, San Antonio ISD adds three weeks to upcoming school year," 23 June 2020 In the book, Bolton accuses Trump of trying to solicit help from China in his 2020 reelection bid. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Kayleigh McEnany: Bolton takes 'most disliked man in America' title from Comey," 18 June 2020 His administration also recently began to solicit companies to add , in what Hogan has said will be one of the largest public-private partnerships ever in the United States. Washington Post, "Maryland likely to be on the hook for millions if it wants to save the Purple Line project, analysts say," 13 June 2020 The new information does not support the narrative of either the U.S. or China, but instead portrays an agency now stuck in the middle that was urgently trying to solicit more data despite limits to its own authority. Fox News, "China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO despite public praise," 3 June 2020 Authorities have used surveillance video to identify others charged in connection with the rioting, and the Cleveland police department set up a website to solicit photos and videos in hopes of identifying anyone involved. Evan Macdonald, cleveland, "Man accused of setting fire to parking lot booth amid rioting that followed protest in downtown Cleveland," 17 June 2020 Warren, one of the half-dozen or so top contenders to be Biden's running mate, refused to host high-dollar fundraisers for her own presidential campaign or actively solicit high-dollar donations. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Warren, who crusaded against big fundraisers, headlines most successful Biden high-dollar event yet," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for solicit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for solicit

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Solicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solicit. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for solicit

solicit

verb
How to pronounce solicit (audio)

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.
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for solicit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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