Word of the Day

Monday, February 14, 2000


\HWEE-d'l; WEE-d'l\ , transitive verb;
To entice by soft words or flattery; to coax.
To gain or get by flattery or guile.
intransitive verb:
To flatter; to use soft words.
Editors who wished to carry original work rather than reprints found it necessary to wheedle contributions from readers by decrying inexperience as a reason for not taking up the pen and by offering prizes for submissions.
-- Ronald Weber, Hired Pens
When Wayne and I first moved here, the settlers living within twenty miles were consumed with curiosity about our relationship, and one of 'em tried to wheedle a little matrimonial information out of me.
-- Christine Wiltz, The Last Madam
He knew what it looked like to seduce, to intimidate, to wheedle, and to console; to strike a pose or preach a sermon.
-- Simon Schama, Rembrandt's Eyes
The origin of wheedle is uncertain; it is perhaps from Old English wædlian, "to beg, to be a beggar," from wædl, "want, poverty."
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