solicit

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

Essential Meaning of solicit

formal
1 : to ask for (something, such as money or help) from people, companies, etc. The center is soliciting donations to help victims of the earthquake. The company is soliciting bids from various firms. See More ExamplesThe organization is soliciting new memberships/subscriptions. The newspaper's editors want to solicit opinions/comments from readers. The organization is soliciting for donations.Hide
2 : to ask (a person or group) for money, help, etc. Special interest groups are soliciting Congress for funds.
3 : to offer to have sex with (someone) in return for money The prostitutes were arrested for soliciting customers.

Full 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 The audit further called into question the commission’s decision to buy six snow guns for the tubing hill from the same vendor at $19,999 each, which was exactly one dollar below the threshold that would have required the commission to solicit bids. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Oct. 2021 No asking price was advertised for the site, with realtors instead hoping to solicit bids for the school. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2021 State law allows the remaining school board members to solicit applications for board vacancies and select a successor. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, 16 Sep. 2021 Retirement doesn’t suit James Bond, which is handy, because there’d be no movie if his old friend Felix didn’t solicit his sense of surly obligation for a final, globe-saving gig. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, 16 Sep. 2021 According to a 2019 national contract with Ascenta Group US, each solicitor was paid $40 a day by Ascenta to solicit donations on behalf of the ASPCA. Analisa Novak, CBS News, 4 Aug. 2021 And Bryan and his best friend, John, who were in a fraternity together, are both continuing to solicit donations. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 19 July 2021 Abbott has already set up a website to solicit public donations to continue building the wall along the Texas border that Trump pursued but Biden has abandoned. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, 5 July 2021 Charity Scams Fraudsters have increasingly used Covid-19 to solicit donations from the public by impersonating organizations such as the World Health Organization or legitimate charities. Frans Wiwanto, Forbes, 17 May 2021

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

Time Traveler for solicit

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near solicit

soli

solicit

solicitant

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Statistics for solicit

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Solicit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solicit. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for solicit

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

More from Merriam-Webster on solicit

Nglish: Translation of solicit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of solicit for Arabic Speakers

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