British. Informal. to pry (something) out of a place, as winkle meat is dug out of its shell with a pin (usually followed by out).
British. any of various marine gastropods; periwinkle.
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Citations for winkle
The physio room was suitably bare; the equipment depended on what Johnny and Clara could winkle out of the establishment.Maeve Binchy, Heart and Soul, 2008
After four months of his company, Harry Dresnig had finally abandoned his attempts to winkle Alex from the cabin.Garry Kilworth, Gemini God, 1981
Origin of winkle
Winkle is a shortening of the word periwinkle, which refers to any of various marine gastropods or sea snails, especially Littorina littorea, used for food in Europe. The noun entered English in the late 1500s; the verb gained popularity in the mid-1900s.