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)

Origin of solicit

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 formspre·so·lic·it, verb (used with object)re·so·lic·it, verbsu·per·so·lic·it, verbun·so·lic·it·ed, adjective

Synonyms for solicit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for solicits

Historical Examples of solicits

  • He solicits me, 'To engage my honour to him never to have Mr. Solmes.'

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

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

    Holy in Christ

    Andrew Murray

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

  • But none of them solicits me to stop until the Palazzo Braschi comes into view.

    Idling in Italy

    Joseph Collins

  • Canius then becomes excited; he presses, solicits Pythius to sell him the house.

British Dictionary definitions for solicits


verb -its, -iting or -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 Formssolicitation, noun

Word Origin for solicit

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

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