Definition of elicit in English:



[with object]
  • 1Evoke or draw out (a reaction, answer, or fact) from someone.

    ‘I tried to elicit a smile from Joanna’
    ‘the work elicited enormous public interest’
    • ‘He tried gesturing towards the door but that elicited no useful reaction from the creature.’
    • ‘Translation into local languages of report and draft Constitution to elicit public responses.’
    • ‘Pressing him on whether women seriously held the upper hand in government and society, she never quite elicited a satisfying answer.’
    • ‘which are more likely to elicit a positive response than direct statements of fact.’
    • ‘Next, the points were stimulated with an ear probe to elicit a positive reaction.’
    • ‘In fact, neither of these statements elicited a positive response and Wilson quickly moved on.’
    • ‘His name isn't going to elicit a positive reaction - it hasn't for over a year now.’
    • ‘Other innovations are eliciting such reactions.’
    • ‘I put the emphasis on that last word just right so to elicit some reaction from him.’
    • ‘In other words, such a question is not meant to elicit an answer.’
    • ‘This is a work-in-progress meant to elicit reaction and address problems in the transport industry.’
    • ‘According to analysts, any bit of good news in this climate elicits an exaggerated reaction in an oversold market that's coming off a slew of negative pre-announcements.’
    • ‘The study was widely reported in newspapers and elicited some unsurprising reactions.’
    • ‘You would imagine that a call to the Department of the Taoiseach would elicit answers to those relatively easy questions.’
    • ‘Prolonged question and answer sessions will eventually elicit the response the teacher is looking for.’
    • ‘They say they are interested in eliciting strong reactions to their work but, as people, the deepest emotion they seem willing to display is this kind of bland amusement.’
    • ‘If some students disagree with an incorrect answer, elicit the correct response.’
    • ‘It's time to start worrying when exhibitions elicit no reaction at all.’
    • ‘That question's been asked time and time again, and it elicits no valid answer.’
    • ‘We need to stop worrying about what others think of us and make pictures that elicit a gut reaction.’
    obtain, bring out, draw out, extract, evoke, bring about, bring forth, induce, excite, give rise to, call forth, prompt, generate, engender, spark off, trigger, kindle
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    1. 1.1archaic Draw forth (something that is latent or potential) into existence.
      ‘a corrupt heart elicits in an hour all that is bad in us’
      • ‘Detection of the deviant elicits additional evoked potentials.’
      • ‘But eliciting the yet-unrealized potentials of an ecosystem is one thing; firing silver bullets at it is quite another.’
      • ‘Action potentials are elicited when tiny pores in the nerve cell membrane, known as sodium channels, open up in response to a stimulus.’
      • ‘However, the extension to minority groups elicits the potential for internal (cultural or economic) autonomy.’
      cause, induce, provoke, create, generate, engender, foster, encourage, lead to, call forth, make happen
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Mid 17th century: from Latin elicit- ‘drawn out by trickery or magic’, from the verb elicere, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + lacere ‘entice, deceive’.