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wheedle

[hweed-l, weed-l] /ˈʰwid l, ˈwid l/
verb (used with object), wheedled, wheedling.
1.
to endeavor to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering, or beguiling words or acts:
We wheedled him incessantly, but he would not consent.
2.
to persuade (a person) by such words or acts:
She wheedled him into going with her.
3.
to obtain (something) by artful persuasions:
I wheedled a new car out of my father.
verb (used without object), wheedled, wheedling.
4.
to use beguiling or artful persuasions:
I always wheedle if I really need something.
Origin of wheedle
1655-1665
1655-65; origin uncertain
Related forms
wheedler, noun
wheedlingly, adverb
unwheedled, adjective
Synonyms
1. flatter, cajole. 2, 3. coax, beguile, inveigle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for wheedle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I know that I have but to wheedle you and you, too, will yield!

    Chivalry James Branch Cabell
  • I believe you could wheedle anybody into doing what he shouldn't do.

  • I'll bet that you may wheedle them round with a compliment or two, just as if they were so many burghers' wives.

    Westward Ho! Charles Kingsley
  • I will never leave you lest you should wheedle it from them.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • He strove to overcome this fate as a coward would—to kneel to it for compassion—to coax and wheedle it into forgiveness.

    Catherine: A Story William Makepeace Thackeray
  • And do not think that you can wheedle either of them away from Black Bart.

    The Lady and the Pirate Emerson Hough
  • The infantry sergeant in command of the little party tried to wheedle Case out of his whim, but it was useless.

  • He was used to them, and hitherto he had been able to wheedle her into resumed motion.

British Dictionary definitions for wheedle

wheedle

/ˈwiːdəl/
verb
1.
to persuade or try to persuade (someone) by coaxing words, flattery, etc
2.
(transitive) to obtain by coaxing and flattery: she wheedled some money out of her father
Derived Forms
wheedler, noun
wheedling, adjective
wheedlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from German wedeln to wag one's tail, from Old High German wedil, wadil tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wheedle
v.

"to influence by flattery," 1660s, perhaps connected with Old English wædlian "to beg" (from wædl "poverty"), or borrowed by English soldiers in the 17c. German wars from German wedeln "wag the tail," hence "fawn, flatter" (cf. adulation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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