Definition of elicit in English:



  • 1 Evoke or draw out (a response, answer, or fact) from someone in reaction to one's own actions or questions.

    ‘they invariably elicit exclamations of approval from guests’
    • ‘His name isn't going to elicit a positive reaction - it hasn't for over a year now.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other innovations are eliciting such reactions.’
    • ‘In other words, such a question is not meant to elicit an answer.’
    • ‘Pressing him on whether women seriously held the upper hand in government and society, she never quite elicited a satisfying answer.’
    • ‘It's time to start worrying when exhibitions elicit no reaction at all.’
    • ‘Translation into local languages of report and draft Constitution to elicit public responses.’
    • ‘Prolonged question and answer sessions will eventually elicit the response the teacher is looking for.’
    • ‘I put the emphasis on that last word just right so to elicit some reaction from him.’
    • ‘You would imagine that a call to the Department of the Taoiseach would elicit answers to those relatively easy questions.’
    • ‘In fact, neither of these statements elicited a positive response and Wilson quickly moved on.’
    • ‘The study was widely reported in newspapers and elicited some unsurprising reactions.’
    • ‘which are more likely to elicit a positive response than direct statements of fact.’
    • ‘If some students disagree with an incorrect answer, elicit the correct response.’
    • ‘This is a work-in-progress meant to elicit reaction and address problems in the transport industry.’
    • ‘Next, the points were stimulated with an ear probe to elicit a positive reaction.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He tried gesturing towards the door but that elicited no useful reaction from the creature.’
    • ‘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
    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’
      • ‘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.