verb (used with object)

to draw or bring out or forth; educe; evoke: to elicit the truth; to elicit a response with a question.

Origin of elicit

1635–45; < Latin ēlicitus drawn out (past participle of ēlicere), equivalent to ē- e-1 + lici- draw, lure + -tus past participle suffix
Related formse·lic·i·ta·tion, noune·lic·i·tor, nounnon·e·lic·it·ed, adjectiveun·e·lic·it·ed, adjective
Can be confusedelicit illicit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elicit

Contemporary Examples of elicit

Historical Examples of elicit

  • A deep sigh was the only answer she could elicit from Theodora.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • Scenes of this sort were too common to elicit comment or arouse excitement.

    Blazed Trail Stories

    Stewart Edward White

  • With what authority do we elicit respect and obedience from our little people!

  • No amount of cross-examination could elicit any further information.

    The Light of Scarthey

    Egerton Castle

  • It was a very simple question, yet it did not elicit a very plain answer.

    A Simpleton

    Charles Reade

British Dictionary definitions for elicit


verb (tr)

to give rise to; evoketo elicit a sharp retort
to bring to lightto elicit the truth
Derived Formselicitable, adjectiveelicitation, nounelicitor, noun

Word Origin for elicit

C17: from Latin ēlicere to lure forth, from licere to entice
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

Word Origin and History for elicit

1640s, from Latin elicitus, past participle of elicere "draw forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -licere, comb. form of lacere "to entice, lure, deceive" (related to laqueus "noose, snare;" see lace (n.)). Related: Elicited; eliciting; elicits; elicitation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper