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

Trump had been soliciting a wide array of opinions about Iran after a pair of tankers were damaged a week earlier near the Strait of Hormuz, an incident U.S. officials blamed on the Iranians. Jonathan Lemire, Fortune, "'How Many People Will Be Killed?': Why Trump Decided Against Striking Iran," 22 June 2019 The task force — which included community advocates, aldermen and city department heads — met monthly behind closed doors and held several public forums to solicit input from residents. ProPublica, "Task Force on Tickets and Debt Suggests Reforms but Needs Chicago’s Mayor and City Council to Finish the Work," 15 June 2019 Later this year, the US Air Force is expected to begin soliciting bids for up to three prototypes of next-generation launch vehicles. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA isn’t going to pay for the BFR, so Musk charts a new course," 18 Sep. 2018 The company also said the Williamses and other plaintiffs, who also live near the farm, signed on to a lawsuit only when solicited by lawyers. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "Residents Raise a Stink Over Pig Farms in North Carolina," 29 May 2018 Accepting funds solicited by Bank of China or Goldman Sachs will require the Legislature to approve third-party receipt authority for AGDC, which remains unresolved after the House and Senate operating budgets diverged on granting it. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska gas line agency chief recaps visit from Chinese delegation as funding remains unresolved," 14 Apr. 2018 Papy produced examples of recent comparison quotes solicited by his company on behalf of clients. Ron Hurtibise, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Spurned by private carriers, South Florida homeowners again forced into state-run Citizens Insurance," 22 Mar. 2018 Combine that with a large number of older people who live full- or part-time in the state, and Arizona is attractive to Research for Life and other companies soliciting body donations. Stephanie Innes, AZCentral.com, "Arizona is a hotbed for the cadaver industry, and potential donors have plenty of options," 10 June 2019 In less than a week after the pickup game, the three officers raised more than $500 by soliciting donations from other officers in the district. Jack Mccordick, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police officers build basketball hoop, host block party for neighborhood kids," 8 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

7 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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