early 15c., "to disturb, trouble," from M.Fr. soliciter
, from L. solicitare
"to disturb, rouse," from sollicitus
"agitated," from sollus
"whole, entire" + citus
"aroused," pp. of ciere
"shake, excite, set in motion" (see cite
). Meaning "to further (business affairs)" evolved mid-15c. from M.Fr. sense of "manage affairs." The sexual sense (often in reference to prostitutes) is attested from 1701, 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.