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[ih-lis-it] /ɪˈlɪs ɪt/
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 forms
elicitation, noun
elicitor, noun
nonelicited, adjective
unelicited, adjective
Can be confused
elicit, illicit. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for elicit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Possibly, but not one more likely to elicit Wallenstein's candour.

    The Mercenary W. J. Eccott
  • With what authority do we elicit respect and obedience from our little people!

  • But whenever the teacher fails to elicit both respect and love, his power for good is lost.

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

    The Light of Scarthey Egerton Castle
  • No question was admissible which tended to elicit information or a positive declaration from the respondent.

    Aristotle George Grote
British Dictionary definitions for elicit


verb (transitive)
to give rise to; evoke: to elicit a sharp retort
to bring to light: to elicit the truth
Derived Forms
elicitable, adjective
elicitation, noun
elicitor, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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