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From Middle French solliciter, from Latin sollicitāre, present active participle of 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).



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

  1. To persistently endeavor to obtain an object, or bring about an event.
    to solicit alms, or a favour
    • Alexander Pope
      I view my crime, but kindle at the view, / Repent old pleasures, and solicit new.
      Did I solicit thee From darkness to promote me?
  2. To woo; to court.
  3. To persuade or incite one to commit some act, especially illegal or sexual behavior.
    • Milton
      That fruit [] solicited her longing eye.
    • Locke
      Sounds and some tangible qualities solicit their proper senses, and force an entrance to the mind.
    If you want to lose your virginity, you should try to solicit some fine looking women.
  4. 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.
  6. (archaic) To disturb or trouble; to harass.
  7. To urge the claims of; to plead; to act as solicitor for or with reference to.
    • Ford
      Should / My brother henceforth study to forget / The vow that he hath made thee, I would ever / Solicit thy deserts.
  8. (obsolete, rare) To disturb; to disquiet.
    • Chapman
      Hath any ill solicited thine ears?
    • Dryden
      But anxious fears solicit my weak breast.


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