Elicit, Extract, Extort

What is the difference between elicit, extract and extort ?

These are synonymous. The only difference between these words is the degree of force.

    What is the meaning of elicit ?

    Elicit means to get information or response from someone.

    1. The police is trying to elicit some response from the terrorists.
    2. Her questions elicited no response from her husband.

    What is the meaning of extract ?

    Extract means to get information, a response, etc. form someone who does not want to give.

    1. She is very intelligent extracting any information from a man.
    2. The officers manages to extract the name and current location of the kidnapers.

    It also means to remove something by pulling it out or cutting it out.

    1. The nail was extracted from the wall.
    2. I had to have a tooth extracted.

    As a noun, it means a substance that has been obtained from something.

    It also means a short passage from book, piece of music, etc.

    What is the meaning of extort ?

    Extort means to get something, such as money, information, etc. from a person by use of force or threats.

    Difference between elicit, extract and extort.

    The only difference between these words is the degree of force. Here we shall see the difference only on the basis of getting information.

    Elicit suggests less force than extract and extort. You elicit information by simply asking some questions without using any force. You elicit information without the informant being aware that he has disclosed some information. You use deceive method.

    Extract suggests more force than elicit but less than extort. It suggests as stronger and more persistent effort that involves threats or verbal abuse. You use deceptive method, and some degree of force to get out the information.

    Extort has the highest degree of force of the three. It suggests clear threats of violence and physical harm.

    If someone extorts something form someone, they get it from them by using force, threats or other unfair or illegal force.

    How to memorize:-

    Elicit comes from 'e' that means 'out' and 'lacere' that means 'deceive'.

    Elicit means out the information by deceiving.

    Extract comes from 'ex' meaning 'out' and 'trace' meaning 'draw'. Extract means to draw something out by using some force.

    Extort comes from 'ex' meaning 'out' and 'torquere' meaning 'to twist'. Tort also looks like torture.

    So Extort meaning taking out any information by torturing.

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