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

v 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”
beg, tap
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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
canvass by using a questionnaire
Type of:
bespeak, call for, quest, request
express the need or desire for; ask for

v make a solicitation or petition for something desired

“She is too shy to solicit
Type of:
make a request or demand for something to somebody

v incite, move, or persuade to some act of lawlessness or insubordination

“He was accused of soliciting his colleagues to destroy the documents”
Type of:
cause, get, have, induce, make, stimulate
cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner

v make amorous advances towards

court, romance, woo
chase, chase after
pursue someone sexually or romantically
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)

v approach with an offer of sexual favors

“he was solicited by a prostitute”
“The young man was caught soliciting in the park”
accost, hook
hook, snare
entice and trap
Type of:
make available or accessible, provide or furnish

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