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[suh-lis-it] /səˈlɪs ɪt/
verb (used with object)
to seek for (something) by entreaty, earnest or respectful request, formal application, etc.:
He solicited aid from the minister.
to entreat or petition (someone or some agency):
to solicit the committee for funds.
to seek to influence or incite to action, especially unlawful or wrong action.
to offer to have sex with in exchange for money.
verb (used without object)
to make a petition or request, as for something desired.
to solicit orders or trade, as for a business:
No soliciting allowed in this building.
to offer to have sex with someone in exchange for money.
Origin of solicit
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English soliciten < Middle French solliciter < Latin sollicitāre to excite, agitate, derivative of sollicitus troubled (soll(us) whole + -i- -i- + citus, past participle of ciēre to arouse)
Related forms
presolicit, verb (used with object)
resolicit, verb
supersolicit, verb
unsolicited, adjective
2. beseech, beg. 3. excite, arouse, provoke. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for solicits
Historical Examples
  • An author places himself uncalled before the tribunal of criticism, and solicits fame at the hazard of disgrace.

  • Through the first the world daily solicits our appetite with its food and drink.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • Is not this a serious reason—that I despise the person who now solicits my love, honor and obedience?

  • What is to be done with Egesippus who solicits some employment?

  • The crew of wretched souls who waited the kings touch really believed that he solicits Heaven.

    The Funny Side of Physic A. D. Crabtre
  • But none of them solicits me to stop until the Palazzo Braschi comes into view.

    Idling in Italy Joseph Collins
  • She, being persuaded by the serpent, solicits her husband to eat of a fruit forbidden by God himself.

    Christianity Unveiled Nicolas-Antoine Boulanger
  • Does it not, then, justify the man who solicits me in his means of getting money?

    The Entailed Hat George Alfred Townsend
  • She subsists on the chance contributions of the charitable; but she solicits nothing,—and, indeed, is seldom seen.

    Guy Fawkes William Harrison Ainsworth
  • As soon as he recovers from his confusion he solicits the interposition of his neighbour.

    The History of Sumatra William Marsden
British Dictionary definitions for solicits


verb -its, -iting, -ited
when intr, foll by for. to make a request, application, or entreaty to (a person for business, support, etc)
to accost (a person) with an offer of sexual relations in return for money
to provoke or incite (a person) to do something wrong or illegal
Derived Forms
solicitation, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French solliciter to disturb, from Latin sollicitāre to harass, from sollicitus agitated, from sollus whole + citus, from ciēre to excite
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for solicits



early 15c., "to disturb, trouble," from Middle French soliciter (14c.), from Latin sollicitare "to disturb, rouse, trouble, harass; stimulate, provoke," from sollicitus "agitated," from sollus "whole, entire" + citus "aroused," past participle of ciere "shake, excite, set in motion" (see cite). Related: Solicited; soliciting.

Meaning "entreat, petition" is from 1520s. Meaning "to further (business affairs)" evolved mid-15c. from Middle French sense of "manage affairs." The sexual sense (often in reference to prostitutes) is attested from 1710, probably from a merger of the business sense and an earlier sense of "to court or beg the favor of" (a woman), attested from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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