Skip to Content

How To Use “Elicit” In A Sentence: Unpacking the Term

How To Use “Elicit” In A Sentence: Unpacking the Term

Elicit is a versatile word that can add depth and nuance to your writing. Whether you are crafting an essay, a professional email, or a creative piece, knowing how to use elicit effectively can elevate your language and engage your readers. In this article, we will explore the proper way to use elicit in a sentence and provide examples to help you master this word.

To use elicit correctly, it is important to understand its meaning and usage. Elicit is a verb that means to draw out or evoke a response, reaction, or information from someone or something. It implies a deliberate action that prompts a specific result. When using elicit, it is crucial to consider the context and ensure that the response or information being drawn out is appropriate and relevant.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the various ways you can incorporate elicit into your sentences to enhance your writing.

Definition Of Elicit

Elicit, a verb derived from the Latin word “elicere,” meaning to draw out or entice, is a term that encompasses the act of bringing forth or extracting information, emotions, or reactions from someone or something. It involves skillfully prompting or stimulating a response through various means.

Historically, the concept of eliciting has been present in human communication for centuries. From ancient philosophical dialogues to modern-day interrogations, the art of elicitation has played a significant role in understanding and influencing human behavior.

In different contexts, the term “elicit” can have slightly different meanings. Let’s explore some of these variations:

Elicit In The Context Of Communication

When used in the realm of communication, “elicit” refers to the act of drawing out information or opinions from individuals or groups. This can be achieved through skillful questioning, active listening, or employing specific techniques designed to encourage open and honest responses.

For example, during market research interviews, skilled interviewers use carefully crafted questions to elicit valuable insights from participants. By creating a comfortable and non-judgmental environment, they encourage respondents to share their thoughts and experiences freely.

Elicit In The Context Of Emotions

In the context of emotions, “elicit” refers to the process of evoking or bringing forth specific feelings or reactions. It involves triggering emotional responses through various stimuli, such as music, art, or storytelling.

For instance, a well-crafted movie scene can elicit a range of emotions from the audience, including joy, sadness, or fear. Through the skillful use of cinematography, dialogue, and music, filmmakers can create an immersive experience that elicits intense emotional reactions.

Elicit In The Context Of Law And Psychology

Within the fields of law and psychology, “elicit” takes on a distinct meaning. It refers to the act of obtaining information or evidence from a person through questioning or other investigative techniques.

In legal settings, skilled attorneys employ strategic questioning to elicit crucial details or admissions from witnesses or defendants. Similarly, forensic psychologists may use specialized techniques to elicit repressed memories or uncover hidden motivations during therapy sessions.

Elicit In The Context Of Physiology

In the context of physiology, “elicit” refers to the process of inducing a specific physiological response. This can be done through various stimuli, such as drugs, electrical impulses, or sensory inputs.

For example, in medical research, scientists may elicit a particular physiological response in study participants by administering a specific medication or exposing them to controlled environmental conditions. By carefully measuring and analyzing the resulting responses, researchers can gain insights into the human body’s intricate workings.

Overall, the term “elicit” encompasses a range of meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Whether it involves extracting information, evoking emotions, obtaining evidence, or inducing physiological responses, the art of elicitation is a powerful tool that can greatly enhance our understanding of the world around us.

How To Properly Use Elicit In A Sentence

When it comes to using the word “elicit” in a sentence, it is important to understand the grammatical rules that govern its usage. “Elicit” is a verb that is commonly used to describe the act of drawing out or obtaining a response, information, or a reaction from someone or something. It is often used when discussing the process of getting a specific reaction or information from someone or something.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when using “elicit” in a sentence:

1. Subject-verb Agreement

In a sentence, “elicit” should agree with the subject in terms of number and person. For example:

  • “The teacher elicits responses from her students during class discussions.”
  • “The researchers elicited valuable information from the participants.”

2. Use Of Prepositions

When using “elicit” in a sentence, it is important to consider the appropriate prepositions that can accompany it. Common prepositions used with “elicit” include “from” and “out of.” For instance:

  • “The detective elicited a confession from the suspect.”
  • “The comedian’s jokes elicited laughter from the audience.”

3. Object Of Elicitation

It is essential to clearly indicate what is being elicited in a sentence. This could be a response, a reaction, or specific information. Here are a few examples:

  • “The survey questions were designed to elicit honest feedback from the participants.”
  • “The artist’s painting elicits a range of emotions from viewers.”

It is worth noting that “elicit” is primarily used as a verb, but it can also function as a noun in certain contexts. As a noun, “elicit” refers to something that has been obtained or drawn out. However, this usage is less common compared to its verb form.

By following these grammatical guidelines and considering the context in which “elicit” is being used, you can effectively incorporate this word into your sentences to convey the act of drawing out a response, information, or reaction.

Examples Of Using Elicit In A Sentence

When it comes to expanding one’s vocabulary, understanding how to use words in different contexts is crucial. The word “elicit” is no exception. This article aims to provide a variety of example sentences showcasing the usage of “elicit” in different contexts, highlighting its multiple meanings and nuances.

1. Elicit In The Context Of Obtaining Information:

  • The detective skillfully elicited a confession from the suspect during the intense interrogation.
  • By asking thought-provoking questions, the journalist managed to elicit insightful answers from the interviewee.
  • The teacher used various techniques to elicit responses from the shy students, encouraging their active participation in class discussions.

2. Elicit In The Context Of Evoking Emotions Or Reactions:

  • The moving performance by the pianist elicited a standing ovation from the captivated audience.
  • Watching the heartwarming movie scene elicited tears of joy from the viewers.
  • The comedian’s hilarious jokes never fail to elicit laughter from the crowd.

3. Elicit In The Context Of Drawing Out A Physical Response:

  • The spicy food caused the diner to elicit a strong reaction, resulting in a flushed face and watery eyes.
  • The doctor used a needle to elicit a reflex response from the patient’s knee.
  • The loud noise unexpectedly elicited a startled jump from the sleeping cat.

4. Elicit In The Context Of Provoking A Response Or Action:

  • The controversial article elicited a wave of criticism from readers who disagreed with the author’s viewpoint.
  • The politician’s speech aimed to elicit support and rally voters for the upcoming election.
  • The charity organization’s heartwarming appeal managed to elicit a generous response from the community.

5. Elicit In The Context Of Extracting A Specific Behavior Or Skill:

  • The trainer used positive reinforcement to elicit the desired behavior from the well-trained dog.
  • Through consistent practice, the musician was able to elicit a beautiful melody from the violin.
  • The coach’s guidance and motivation helped elicit an impressive performance from the athlete.

These examples demonstrate the versatility of the word “elicit” and its ability to adapt to various situations. By incorporating this word into your vocabulary, you can effectively convey your intentions and evoke the desired response from others.

Edge Cases Or Things To Consider

When it comes to using the word “elicit” in a sentence, there are a few edge cases and things to consider. Understanding these nuances can help you avoid common mistakes and navigate any cultural or regional differences that may exist.

Common Mistakes People Make When Using Elicit

While “elicit” is a versatile word, it is often misused or confused with similar terms. Here are some common mistakes people make when using “elicit” in a sentence:

  1. Confusing “elicit” with “illicit”: One of the most frequent errors is mixing up “elicit” with “illicit.” While “elicit” means to draw out or evoke a response or information, “illicit” refers to something illegal or forbidden. To ensure clarity, always double-check that you are using the correct word.
  2. Using “elicit” as a synonym for “solicit”: Although “elicit” and “solicit” share some similarities, they are not interchangeable. “Solicit” means to actively seek or request something, often in a persuasive or persistent manner. On the other hand, “elicit” focuses on drawing out or obtaining information or reactions passively.
  3. Failing to use “elicit” in the correct context: Another mistake is using “elicit” in a context where it doesn’t fit. The word is typically used when referring to emotions, responses, or information, rather than physical objects or actions. Ensure that you are using “elicit” appropriately within the context of your sentence.

By being aware of these common mistakes, you can enhance your writing and effectively use “elicit” in a sentence.

Cultural Or Regional Differences

Language and its usage often vary across cultures and regions. The way “elicit” is employed in sentences can also differ based on cultural or regional factors. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Idiomatic expressions: Different cultures may have unique idiomatic expressions that involve the use of “elicit.” These expressions can add depth and richness to the language but may require some cultural knowledge to fully understand and use correctly.
  • Formality and politeness: The level of formality and politeness associated with using “elicit” can vary across cultures. Some cultures may prefer more direct or assertive language, while others may value a more indirect or subtle approach. Understanding the cultural norms can help you tailor your use of “elicit” appropriately.
  • Regional dialects: Within a language, regional dialects can influence the usage of words like “elicit.” Certain regions may have specific colloquialisms or pronunciations that affect how the word is employed in sentences. It is essential to be aware of these regional differences to communicate effectively.

Considering the cultural and regional variations surrounding the usage of “elicit” can help you avoid misunderstandings and adapt your writing style accordingly.

Synonyms Or Alternates To Use

When it comes to expressing the concept of “eliciting” in a sentence, there are several synonyms or alternate words that can be used. Each of these words carries its own nuances and can be employed in various contexts to convey slightly different meanings. Let’s explore four such synonyms:

1. Extract

The term “extract” shares a similar meaning to “elicit” in that it refers to obtaining information or a response from someone or something. However, “extract” often implies a more forceful or deliberate action, suggesting the act of drawing out information through direct or persistent efforts. This word is commonly used when referring to extracting information from a reluctant source or when emphasizing the exertion of effort in obtaining a response.

2. Evoke

“Evoke” is another synonym for “elicit” that emphasizes the power of bringing forth a response or emotion. While “elicit” generally refers to obtaining a specific response or information, “evoke” focuses on stirring or evoking a particular feeling, memory, or reaction. This word is frequently used in the context of art, literature, or music, where the intention is to elicit an emotional response from the audience.

3. Provoke

“Provoke” is a synonym for “elicit” that conveys a sense of inciting or stimulating a response, often intentionally. Unlike “elicit,” which can be neutral in tone, “provoke” carries a stronger connotation of causing a reaction, especially an emotional or negative one. This word is commonly used when discussing actions or statements that intentionally stir up a response or controversy.

4. Garner

The term “garner” can be used as an alternate word for “elicit” when the focus is on gathering or collecting information or responses. While “elicit” emphasizes the act of drawing out a response, “garner” highlights the accumulation or collection of such responses or information. This word is often used in contexts where the emphasis is on the quantity or accumulation of data or opinions.

In different contexts, one synonym might be preferred over another based on the specific connotation or emphasis desired. For example, if the intention is to emphasize the effort or persistence in obtaining a response, “extract” would be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if the aim is to evoke a strong emotional response, “evoke” would be more appropriate. Similarly, “provoke” would be the preferred synonym when the intention is to emphasize the act of inciting a reaction, while “garner” would be the word of choice when focusing on the collection or accumulation of information or responses.

Related Phrases Or Idioms

When it comes to incorporating the word “elicit” into phrases or idioms, there are a few noteworthy examples that add a touch of linguistic flair to everyday conversations. These idiomatic expressions not only help to convey meaning more vividly but also provide a glimpse into the rich tapestry of the English language.

1. Elicit A Response/reaction

Meaning: To provoke or draw out a specific response or reaction from someone.

Example sentence: The comedian’s witty punchline elicited uproarious laughter from the audience, filling the room with joyous merriment.

2. Elicit Information

Meaning: To obtain or extract information from someone through questioning or other means.

Example sentence: The detective skillfully elicited a confession from the suspect, unraveling the mystery and bringing the truth to light.

3. Elicit Sympathy/empathy

Meaning: To evoke feelings of sympathy or empathy in others.

Example sentence: The heart-wrenching documentary elicited profound empathy from viewers, shedding light on the struggles faced by marginalized communities.

4. Elicit A Smile

Meaning: To bring about a smile or evoke a positive emotional response.

Example sentence: The adorable puppy’s playful antics never failed to elicit a smile from passersby, brightening their day with its infectious joy.

5. Elicit A Reaction/response

Meaning: To provoke or evoke a reaction or response, often in a deliberate or calculated manner.

Example sentence: The controversial artwork was designed to elicit a strong reaction from viewers, challenging societal norms and sparking meaningful discussions.

6. Elicit Laughter/tears

Meaning: To evoke laughter or tears, often through humor or poignant storytelling.

Example sentence: The stand-up comedian’s hilarious anecdotes never failed to elicit uproarious laughter, leaving the audience in stitches.

These phrases and idioms demonstrate the versatility of the word “elicit” in capturing various emotional responses or extracting information. By incorporating these expressions into your vocabulary, you can add depth and nuance to your conversations, making your language more engaging and impactful.


After delving into the intricacies of the word “elicit,” it becomes clear that mastering its usage is of utmost importance. The correct application of this term not only adds depth and precision to your language, but it also allows you to effectively communicate your thoughts and intentions. By employing “elicit” in its proper context, you can elicit the desired response from your audience and create a lasting impact.

As with any linguistic skill, practice is key. Encouraging readers to actively incorporate “elicit” into their own sentences can greatly enhance their command of this versatile word. By doing so, they will gradually become more adept at selecting the appropriate situations to employ it, thereby elevating the quality and effectiveness of their communication.