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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English soliciten, solliciten, from Old French soliciter, solliciter, from the present active participle of Latin sollicitō (stir, disturb; look after), from sollicitus (agitated, anxious, punctilious, literally thoroughly moved), from sollus (whole, entire) + perfect passive participle of cieō (shake, excite, cite, to put in motion).


  • enPR: sə-lĭs'ĭt, IPA(key): /səˈlɪsɪt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪsɪt


solicit (third-person singular simple present solicits, present participle soliciting, simple past and past participle solicited)

  1. (transitive) To persistently endeavor to obtain an object, or bring about an event.
    to solicit alms, or a favour
    Synonyms: supplicate, thig
  2. (transitive) To woo; to court.
    Synonyms: address, romance
    • 1960 November, David Morgan, “"Piggyback"—U.S. success story”, in Trains Illustrated, page 683:
      American railroads are not permitted to operate long-haul road routes, but the I.C.C. decision of 1954 did permit them to solicit trailer business in, say, New York for Chicago provided the trailer was piggybacked in between.
  3. (transitive) To persuade or incite one to commit some act, especially illegal or sexual behavior.
    If you want to lose your virginity, you should try to solicit some fine looking women.
  4. (transitive) To offer to perform sexual activity, especially when for a payment.
    My girlfriend tried to solicit me for sex, but I was tired.
  5. To make a petition.
    Synonyms: appeal, request
  6. (archaic, transitive) To disturb or trouble; to harass.
  7. (transitive) To urge the claims of; to plead; to act as solicitor for or with reference to.
    Synonym: plead
    • 1628, John Ford, The Lover's Melancholy:
      Should / My brother henceforth study to forget / The vow that he hath made thee, I would ever / Solicit thy deserts.
  8. (obsolete, rare, transitive) To disturb; to disquiet.
    Synonym: worry

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]



  1. (archaic) solicitation