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 Among the changes, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants to accelerate the bid process by soliciting proposals for most of the Beltway and all of I-270 simultaneously, rather than starting with the lower portion of I-270. Washington Post, "Md. members of Congress say state should release details about toll lane proposal," 6 Dec. 2019 More:House Democrats' report on the impeachment inquiry finds Trump has solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election The House Intelligence Committee then voted 13-9, along party lines, Tuesday night to adopt the impeachment report. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "What happened Tuesday in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump?," 4 Dec. 2019 In the meantime, California has found a workaround, collecting the preliminary counts submitted by cities and counties to the federal government and using those to begin soliciting applications for about three-quarters of the homelessness aid. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Trump administration holding up California homeless efforts, Newsom charges," 4 Dec. 2019 In the beginning, Shailer served as the group’s director, recruited supporters and solicited donations. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "Midge Shailer, founder of Kids in Distress, dies at 77," 25 Nov. 2019 The offenses ranged from violating prohibition laws to taking bribes to soliciting a prostitute. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "A 'tradition' of public corruption: Mayors being arrested isn't unusual for Indiana," 20 Nov. 2019 The Board chose to further modify the third calendar and solicit public comment for 60 days with plans to vote on it Nov. 13. Carroll County Times Staff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll County Board of Education expected to vote on 2020-21 school calendar tonight," 13 Nov. 2019 None of the key congressional committees has brought in any company representatives for testimony, or solicited feedback from them directly. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "It’s tiny biotechs — not big drug makers — that fear ‘nuclear winter’ from Pelosi’s drug pricing bill," 12 Nov. 2019 The prosecution’s star witness is an Idaho nurse, Krystal Kenney, who told investigators Frazee killed the 29-year-old Berreth after soliciting her to do it. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Kelsey Berreth case: Jury to hear opening statements in Patrick Frazee murder trial," 2 Nov. 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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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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Solicit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solicited. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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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