Latin roots differences cit, licit, elicit and plicit

Let's see some English words: explicit, solicit, elicit, and illicit. They all look like using the same Latin root, but they are three different roots and the meanings are quite different.

plicit means fold, curve, turn, bend

The explicit, ex means outward, fold out, unfold. If you fold inward, you are expressing something implicitly.

There is also this word complicit(fold together), since Ivanka Trump says she didn't know what it means to be complicit in an interview, here it is, it means involvs in crime, that is, be a crime partner, the prefix com usually means positive for example conduce, community, compose, collaborate, etc. But when a bunch of people "fold" together it's a bad thing.

cit in solicit means to distrub, to arouse, stimulate, provoke

From sollus "whole, entire" + citus "aroused,". Citus comes from ciere means shake, excite, set in motion.

Later, it means to beg.

licit in illicit means allow, permitted by law

The licit in this word comes from licitus which means "lawful", past participle of licere "to be allowed".

The il represents nagative, il+licit means not allowed by law.

  • The illicit employee behavior includes paying bribes to get illicit payments, but the payments are usually very low because the cost of bribes is too hign, even worse, the extra sales generated by illicitly obtained business doesn't boost shareholder value.

licit in elicit means to entice, lure, deceive

The licit here comes from licitus which comes from licere which comes from lacere which means to entice, lure, deceive.

Even though it's very similar to illicit, but one comes from licere: allowed, another comes from lacere: lure, deceive.

The prefix e means out, draw something out by trickering or deceiving. In Psychology, the conditioning experiment involves letting the animal behave in certain way by giving them stimulus, for example, using the sound of a bell to let the dog salivate, it's called eliciting. Psychologist can also elicit emotions like anxiety or fear. Because of the conditioning mechanism of the brain of animal or human, they can be tricked by the stimulus from the outside.