elicit, illicit

The words elicit, illicit sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do elicit, illicit sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: elicit, illicit are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    To bring or draw out (something latent); educe.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To arrive at (a truth, for example) by logic.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To call forth, draw out, or provoke (a reaction, for example). See Synonyms at evoke.

  1. :: adjective

    Not sanctioned by custom or law; unlawful.

  2. :: adjective

    Linguistics Improperly formed; ungrammatical.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").