Just like many other English terms, the word elicit has been misused in various instances. Some people do not have the right understanding of this vocabulary and are bound to place it in the wrong context. Basically, this is an English verb used as a part of speech. In simple terms, it refers to the act of bringing out a particular response. For example, a horror movie can elicit fear among the viewers. It is all about provoking a certain response from an action. A great poem may elicit cheers, whereas a dull poem may elicit jeers from the audience. In a court, the lawyer always tries to elicit mistakes and errors in the testimonies given by the witnesses.

Audience cheering, clapping and applauding

A great poem may elicit cheers, whereas a dull poem may elicit jeers from the audience.

Linguistic description

This word has two main meanings with both having a number of related synonyms that go with them. The first one is to elicit emotions, feelings or a response. Words that are similar to this include enkindle, arouse, evoke, fire, inspire, provoke and raise.

The second meaning of this word is to deduce a principle or to construe a meaning. It may also mean to derive by reason. For instance, you can “elicit a solution”. Other related words include cause, drag, dredge, extort, extract, coax and derive. Some of the common antonyms that go with this word include overpass, pass over, overlook, neglect, ignore, forget, disregard and miss.

Examples in sentences:

• The questionnaires helped elicit valuable information from the applicants.

• The number of accidents happening around the country elicits sympathy.

• The military chief noted that giving perfectly sensible commands does not necessarily elicit a sensible response.

• The terror threat has elicited sharp responses from some European nations.

• The story about his funny past elicited a few laughs as we socialised.

In English, it is quite common to come across those types of polysemous words. This proves the importance of knowing how to interrelate that particular word with its usefulness in the provided sentence. This also makes it easier for you to create clear sentences with flawless grammar and spellings. With this in mind, you will never have any problem trying to express yourself in English.

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