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.’
    • ‘His name isn't going to elicit a positive reaction - it hasn't for over a year now.’
    • ‘We need to stop worrying about what others think of us and make pictures that elicit a gut reaction.’
    • ‘This is a work-in-progress meant to elicit reaction and address problems in the transport industry.’
    • ‘The study was widely reported in newspapers and elicited some unsurprising reactions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You would imagine that a call to the Department of the Taoiseach would elicit answers to those relatively easy questions.’
    • ‘Other innovations are eliciting such reactions.’
    • ‘Pressing him on whether women seriously held the upper hand in government and society, she never quite elicited a satisfying answer.’
    • ‘Prolonged question and answer sessions will eventually elicit the response the teacher is looking for.’
    • ‘Translation into local languages of report and draft Constitution to elicit public responses.’
    • ‘It's time to start worrying when exhibitions elicit no reaction at all.’
    • ‘If some students disagree with an incorrect answer, elicit the correct response.’
    • ‘I put the emphasis on that last word just right so to elicit some reaction from him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That question's been asked time and time again, and it elicits no valid answer.’
    • ‘In other words, such a question is not meant to elicit an answer.’
    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’
      • ‘But eliciting the yet-unrealized potentials of an ecosystem is one thing; firing silver bullets at it is quite another.’
      • ‘However, the extension to minority groups elicits the potential for internal (cultural or economic) autonomy.’
      • ‘Action potentials are elicited when tiny pores in the nerve cell membrane, known as sodium channels, open up in response to a stimulus.’
      • ‘Detection of the deviant elicits additional evoked potentials.’
      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’.