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[hweed-l, weed-l] /ˈʰwid l, ˈwid l/
verb (used with object), wheedled, wheedling.
to endeavor to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering, or beguiling words or acts:
We wheedled him incessantly, but he would not consent.
to persuade (a person) by such words or acts:
She wheedled him into going with her.
to obtain (something) by artful persuasions:
I wheedled a new car out of my father.
verb (used without object), wheedled, wheedling.
to use beguiling or artful persuasions:
I always wheedle if I really need something.
1655-65; origin uncertain
Related forms
wheedler, noun
wheedlingly, adverb
unwheedled, adjective
1. flatter, cajole. 2, 3. coax, beguile, inveigle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wheedled
  • The more impersonal the process, the better for you and for the student, who learns that bureaucracies can't be wheedled.
  • Thieves and officials-often indistinguishable-stole, demanded or wheedled money or goods from the bewildered traveller.
  • The bad guys must be wheedled from office, or tempted to give up their guns.
  • He had to be clutching a solitary buck, which he had wheedled from his budget by going without butter for a week.
  • She would not, she often said to herself, be wheedled against her principles.
  • He had called her at the home number wheedled out of a friend in the contracts department and asked her to dinner.
  • Free maps are available at the door, and staff can sometimes be wheedled into making phone calls.
  • Currently, the commercial bids are wheedled down to one and the government bids against the single vendor.
  • We finally wheedled him into releasing the yarn, and forthwith printed it.
  • They argued, they wheedled, they cajoled each other.
British Dictionary definitions for wheedled


to persuade or try to persuade (someone) by coaxing words, flattery, etc
(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 wheedled



"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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