Elicit versus Illicit

Elicit versus Illicit

Two words with almost similar pronunciation but different meanings, one is an adjective and the other one is a verb. Elicit means, call forth (emotions, feelings, and responses) and ‘Illicit’ means, contrary to accepted morality or convention. Here’s the difference between Elicit versus Illicit.


The verb 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.

  • Talk to the teacher about the program and see what information you can Elicit.


The adjective Illicit means illegal or contrary to accepted morality.

  • The act seeks to prevent the Illicit trafficking of narcotics.

When deciding whether to use illicit or elicit, think about the role that the word plays in your sentence or clause.

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