Definition of elicit in English:



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

    ‘I tried to elicit a smile from Joanna’
    ‘the work elicited enormous public interest’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Prolonged question and answer sessions will eventually elicit the response the teacher is looking for.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pressing him on whether women seriously held the upper hand in government and society, she never quite elicited a satisfying answer.’
    • ‘Other innovations are eliciting such reactions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘which are more likely to elicit a positive response than direct statements of fact.’
    • ‘This is a work-in-progress meant to elicit reaction and address problems in the transport industry.’
    • ‘In other words, such a question is not meant to elicit an answer.’
    • ‘If some students disagree with an incorrect answer, elicit the correct response.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Translation into local languages of report and draft Constitution to elicit public responses.’
    • ‘In fact, neither of these statements elicited a positive response and Wilson quickly moved on.’
    • ‘Next, the points were stimulated with an ear probe to elicit a positive reaction.’
    • ‘We need to stop worrying about what others think of us and make pictures that elicit a gut reaction.’
    • ‘I put the emphasis on that last word just right so to elicit some reaction from him.’
    • ‘His name isn't going to elicit a positive reaction - it hasn't for over a year now.’
    • ‘He tried gesturing towards the door but that elicited no useful reaction from the creature.’
    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
    extort, exact, wrest, derive, provoke, wring, screw, squeeze
    worm out
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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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.