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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.
Origin of wheedle
First recorded in 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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wheedling
Historical Examples
  • Beneath his wheedling air there was the determination to devour everything.

  • He no longer treated Bongrand in the wheedling, respectful manner of yore.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Again did she give vent to a dry laugh which distorted her wheedling face.

    Fruitfulness Emile Zola
  • Matthew caught his breath, and changed his wheedling tone all at once.

  • "Sit here by me," urged Justin, in a wheedling tone, and placed a chair for her.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • He had crouched over it for a half-hour, blowing it, coaxing it, wheedling it.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • "Good-evening, Mr. Brereton," he said in a thin, wheedling voice.

    The Borough Treasurer Joseph Smith Fletcher
  • She stood ten minutes cajoling him, wheedling, coaxing, threatening.

  • She stopped the guttural, wheedling voice with a quick, vehement gesture.

    The Lady Doc

    Caroline Lockhart
  • The tone was wheedling, and the elder woman loved to hear it.

    The Man Bram Stoker
British Dictionary definitions for wheedling


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 wheedling



"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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