solicit

Solicit means to ask for. It is what those people on the street are doing, when they ask, "Do you have a moment to talk about the destruction of the planet?" They are soliciting donations for their cause.

Solicit has an official sounding impressiveness to it––doesn't soliciting donations sound better than begging for money? It can also have a more sinister cast. "When the teacher left the room, two girls solicited their friends to throw all the textbooks out the windows, injuring members of the cheer squad below — where they were soliciting signatures for a petition banning smoking in the football locker rooms."

Definitions of solicit
  1. verb
    make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently
    “Henry IV solicited the Pope for a divorce”
    “My neighbor keeps soliciting money for different charities”
    synonyms: beg, tap
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    types:
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    quest
    seek alms, as for religious purposes
    canvas, canvass
    solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign
    buttonhole, lobby
    detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors
    circularise, circularize
    canvass by using a questionnaire
    type of:
    bespeak, call for, quest, request
    express the need or desire for; ask for
  2. verb
    make a solicitation or petition for something desired
    “She is too shy to solicit
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    type of:
    ask
    make a request or demand for something to somebody
  3. verb
    incite, move, or persuade to some act of lawlessness or insubordination
    “He was accused of soliciting his colleagues to destroy the documents”
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    type of:
    cause, get, have, induce, make, stimulate
    cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner
  4. verb
    make amorous advances towards
    synonyms: court, romance, woo
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    types:
    chase, chase after
    pursue someone sexually or romantically
    display
    attract attention by displaying some body part or posing; of animals
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  5. verb
    approach with an offer of sexual favors
    “The young man was caught soliciting in the park”
    synonyms: accost, hook
    hook, snare
    entice and trap
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    type of:
    offer
    make available or accessible, provide or furnish
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