What does “elicit” mean in this context?

Did they elicit participation from a range of people who had different views of the decision?

Is it proper to translate “elicit” here as “entail” or “include”?

I've checked the dictionary, but the translation didn't seem right to me as “draw out” or “evoke”, so I wanted to know if it is proper to translate it as “entail” or not.

  • Here, the verb 'elicit' means: deduce.
    – Maulik V
    Nov 26, 2013 at 16:57
  • 5
    @MaulikV It does not. Nov 26, 2013 at 16:58
  • 1
    This is a dictionary question. Nov 26, 2013 at 17:10
  • @StoneyB I agree that this appears off topic as a “question . . . entirely answerable with a dictionary” but for now I’m just going to assume this (new) user looked up the word before writing out the question and that some confusion remained. I remain hopeful that Corabict will return and clarify the exact nature of this dictionary-resistant confusion if that is indeed what we have here. Nov 26, 2013 at 17:17
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    Corabict: When asking a question, it's important to summarize the research you've already done. If I asked, "What does snazzlefram mean?" the question would be closed, because that's a job for a dictionary, not ELL. But if I asked, "What does snazzlefram mean? I looked it up in three dictionaries, and know it refers to an animal similar to a leopard, but then I saw a book where that said: It's raining snazzleframs and lupines, and that doesn't make any sense," that question could remain open, because the source of confusion is clearly identified, and a dictionary can't answer it.
    – J.R.
    Nov 26, 2013 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


“Elicit” means:

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

In this situation, the best replacements would be “educe” or “garner”.

The sentence is asking if some people (“they”) got responses from a diverse group of other people. Presumably, the alternative would be to have participation only from people who share one view.

Replacing “elicit” with “entail” would not work, since “entail” means:

involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence.

Replacing “elicit” with “include” would not work, since “include” means:

make part of a whole or set.

  • garner is ok, not so much induce. In this instance I think the best replacement for elicit is 'go out and get' or 'go out and ask for'. induce connotes cause to happen by application of some stimulus
    – Jim
    Nov 26, 2013 at 18:17
  • @Jim I agree. I meant “educe”. Nov 26, 2013 at 18:20
  • @Corabict I agree with Jim that “garner” is the better replacement. Also, please note correction of “induce” to “educe” and mark answer as accepted if you have no further questions on the matter. Lastly, please add details to your question, such as why you are looking for a replacement word, what definitions you found when you looked up this word and why they didn't satisfy you. Otherwise, the question will probably be voted closed. Nov 26, 2013 at 18:24
  • Ok i'll make sure to correct my self next time, sorry for the mess, & thank you for helping me
    – Corabict
    Nov 26, 2013 at 18:31
  • @Corabict Don't feel bad! I'm just trying to give you the tips that I believe will make your stay (and I hope you will stay) here as pleasant and productive as possible. Nov 26, 2013 at 18:44

From Google, the verb elicit means,

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

The quote "Did they elicit participation from a range of people who had different views of the decision?" asks if they drew participation from a range of people (who had different views of the decision).

This simply implies that the person who asked this wants participation from people with different opinions.

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