wheedle

[hweed-l, weed-l]
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verb (used with object), whee·dled, whee·dling.
  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), whee·dled, whee·dling.
  1. 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 formswhee·dler, nounwhee·dling·ly, adverbun·whee·dled, adjective

Synonyms for wheedle

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for wheedle

Contemporary Examples of wheedle

  • Many times he would approach a patient and wheedle his great head under the patient's hand.

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    RIP Cobber

    David Frum

    October 1, 2012

  • Instantly there flashes to mind the image of a carpet salesman in the Istanbul bazaar trying to wheedle me into his stall.

Historical Examples of wheedle


British Dictionary definitions for wheedle

wheedle

verb
  1. to persuade or try to persuade (someone) by coaxing words, flattery, etc
  2. (tr) to obtain by coaxing and flatteryshe wheedled some money out of her father
Derived Formswheedler, nounwheedling, adjectivewheedlingly, adverb

Word Origin for wheedle

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

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