What is the difference between elicit and illicit?


Definition: Verb

  • evoke or draw out (a reaction, answer, or fact) from someone.


  • Survey questions, pitched at a general level, may elicit what respondents regard as socially approved values.
  • Whatever the type of interview, the basic purpose is always the same: to elicit information from the interviewee.


Definition: Adjective

  • forbidden by law, rules, or custom.


  • The Government has been resisting the removal of frontier controls because of anxieties about drugs and illicit arms traffickers.
  • In our own folk symbolism and in those of a number of other cultural traditions, ‘horns’ convey a sinister, demonic association connected with illicit sexuality, as in the expression ‘horny’.
  • Stealing software by illicit copying is wrong, of course, and in many places is a crime.



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