Elicit and Illicit
The Quick AnswerWhat is the difference between elicit and illicit?
- To elicit means to draw out or to obtain (usually information).
- Illicit means illegal.
Elicit and IllicitThe words elicit and illicit sound similar, but their meanings are very different.
ElicitThe verb to elicit means to obtain. It has the connotation of actively obtaining something (usually information). It can often be translated as to draw out, to extract, to obtain information, to deduce, or to construe.
- Have a chat with the boss at lunch and see what information you can elicit. (See what information you can extract.)
- His questioning sought to elicit the conclusion reached before the hearing began. (His questioning sought to draw out the conclusion.)
- Fog always seems to elicit strong feelings of melancholy. (Fog always seems to draw out strong feelings.)
IllicitThe adjective illicit means illegal or contrary to accepted morality (i.e., naughty).
- The act seeks to prevent the illicit trafficking of narcotics.
- We have been told to expect a purge on illicit file-sharing web sites.
Interactive ExerciseHere are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.
See Alsoadverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose?
What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words