verb (used with object)
- to seek for (something) by entreaty, earnest or respectful request, formal application, etc.: He solicited aid from the minister.
- to entreat or petition (someone or some agency): to solicit the committee for funds.
- to seek to influence or incite to action, especially unlawful or wrong action.
- to offer to have sex with in exchange for money.
verb (used without object)
- to make a petition or request, as for something desired.
- to solicit orders or trade, as for a business: No soliciting allowed in this building.
- to offer to have sex with someone in exchange for money.
verb -its, -iting or -ited
- (when intr, foll by for) to make a request, application, or entreaty to (a person for business, support, etc)
- to accost (a person) with an offer of sexual relations in return for money
- to provoke or incite (a person) to do something wrong or illegal
early 15c., “to disturb, trouble,” from Middle French soliciter (14c.), from Latin sollicitare “to disturb, rouse, trouble, harass; stimulate, provoke,” from sollicitus “agitated,” from sollus “whole, entire” + citus “aroused,” past participle of ciere “shake, excite, set in motion” (see cite). Related: Solicited; soliciting.
Meaning “entreat, petition” is from 1520s. Meaning “to further (business affairs)” evolved mid-15c. from Middle French sense of “manage affairs.” The sexual sense (often in reference to prostitutes) is attested from 1710, probably from a merger of the business sense and an earlier sense of “to court or beg the favor of” (a woman), attested from 1590s.