elicit and illicit

The words elicit and illicit sound similar, but they mean very different things!

Illicit means forbidden or unlawful; elicit is similar to evoke and means “to draw out.”

elicit

(verb): The announcement elicited cheers from the crowd.

Jack made a funny face, hoping to elicit a smile from Jennifer.

illicit

(adjective): The illicit photographs were removed soon after they were posted on the site.

Her illicit activities led to her downfall.

Licit is a word that means “permissible”; hence, with the addition of the prefix il- the meaning changes to not permissible, as with words such as illegal and illogical.
 
 
 
 

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