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early 15c., "one who urges," from Middle French soliciteur, from soliciter (see solicit). Meaning "one who conducts matters on behalf of another" is from early 15c. As a name for a specific class of legal practitioners in Britain, it is attested from 1570s. Both the fem. forms, solicitress (1630s) and solicitrix (1610s), have been in the sexual sense, but the latter seems more common in non-pejorative use.