elicit / illicit

You may elicit guffaws if you confuse these two. Elicit is a verb meaning ?to bring or draw out something that is latent or potential,? as in Duke Ellington elicited some amazing sounds from his band. By extension you can elicit a truth or principle, as from a discussion or inquiry. Elicit can also mean ?to call forth a reaction,? of which a guffaw is a good example. Illicit, on the other hand, is an adjective meaning ?unlawful,? as in money acquired by illicit means.    1


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