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Borrowed from Latin elicitus from eliciō (draw forth).



elicit (third-person singular simple present elicits, present participle eliciting, simple past and past participle elicited)

  1. To evoke, educe (emotions, feelings, responses, etc.); to generate, obtain, or provoke as a response or answer.
    • 1842, [anonymous collaborator of Letitia Elizabeth Landon], “(please specify the page)”, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn, [], →OCLC, pages 223–224:
      Shouts of laughter were elicited, smart biddings drawn out, from the whispers of a timid miss, to the stentorian voice of a fox-hunting squire, and not a few fracas from parties either contending for a supposed prize, or disclaiming their chance for it,...
  2. To draw out, bring out, bring forth (something latent); to obtain information from someone or something.
    Fred wished to elicit the time of the meeting from Jane.
    Did you elicit a response?
    • 2009, William B. McGregor, Linguistics: An Introduction Answer Key:
      He visited three department stores in New York and asked the attendant a question that would elicit the answer fourth floor; for example, he might have asked Excuse me, where are women's shoes?
  3. To use logic to arrive at truth; to derive by reason
    Synonyms: deduce, construe


See also[edit]


elicit (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Elicited; drawn out; made real; open; evident.
    • 1660, Jeremy Taylor, Ductor Dubitantium, or the Rule of Conscience in All Her General Measures; [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: [] James Flesher, for Richard Royston [], →OCLC:
      An elicit act of equity.




  1. third-person singular present active indicative of ēliciō