Definition of wheedle in US English:

wheedle

verb

[no object]
  • 1Employ endearments or flattery to persuade someone to do something or give one something.

    with direct speech ‘“Please, for my sake,” he wheedled’
    ‘you can contrive to wheedle your way onto a court’
    • ‘He wheedled with a smile to show that he wasn't too serious.’
    • ‘He wheedles that he was in Japan when it happened.’
    • ‘The story probably continued with a bit more wheedling and pleading, but I wasn't really listening.’
    • ‘Despite the best intentions, one is tempted to bargain for a more advantageous position, to make or demand concessions, to wheedle and to coax, to impose one's agenda and vocabulary.’
    • ‘With the new cameras will come no mercy, no human face to wheedle, cajole, or insult.’
    • ‘We're meant to be talking about the phenomenon of plastic surgery and the potential risks it poses for patients, and instead I'm having my vital statistics wheedled out of me by a complete stranger.’
    • ‘During all of this editorial project - all the boasting, praising, cajoling, and wheedling, indulging in witty asides - I've been staring fixedly into a computer screen.’
    • ‘But then, 10 minutes later, he's still needling and wheedling so convincingly you start to flip-flop back to the earlier assumption that, self-effusing pretence or not, Alan Davies hates having his picture taken.’
    • ‘‘Lily really wants to get to know you better,’ Morgan wheedled.’
    • ‘We do all the talking; we plead, wheedle, deny and cajole.’
    • ‘‘I'll give you one of these grown-up sweets if you keep walking,’ I wheedle, proffering a Tune.’
    • ‘Roses voice was soft and wheedling, her smile saccharin sweet.’
    • ‘Foreign managers also tell of other problems: differing objectives or partners wheedling to get associates into key posts.’
    • ‘A thousand bodies and they're already at the negotiating table with tails between their legs, probably wheedling and begging the resistance to pack it in.’
    • ‘He is at the same time bullying and wheedling, but will, when cornered, reiterate the anodyne phrases he picked up on the intensive salesman's course.’
    • ‘Of course, she had no idea if she could talk her manager into stopping at some of these towns, but she could beg and wheedle and cajole if she had to.’
    • ‘You view your employer more as an equal and you begin to think of ways that you can add value to your services instead of thinking of ways to wheedle more benefits from your feudal overlord.’
    • ‘The film-makers were busy on the lot or on location, but our producers, like Jacob, stayed in the tents, free to wheedle, convince and extort position from and in the studio system.’
    • ‘Many of them command such skills as cajoling, wheedling, thundering, condescending, and even insulting - but, of course, insulting with style.’
    • ‘For much of the film, Emily courts embarrassment with wheedling, flirtatious attempts to stop the girl's uptight uncle from taking her back to the States.’
    coax, cajole, inveigle, lure, induce, blarney, entice, charm, tempt, beguile, flatter, persuade, influence, sway, win someone over, bring someone round, prod, talk, convince, make, get, press, prevail on, get round, argue, reason, urge, pressure, pressurize, bring pressure to bear on, coerce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1wheedle someone into doing somethingwith object Coax or persuade someone to do something.
      • ‘She cajoles and wheedles you into singing; she sings for you when you fail; and she cleverly adjusts the voice tracks to help you go on.’
      • ‘Somewhere along the line she'd realized that she seemed to have a talent for wheedling them into doing what she most desired.’
      • ‘In the second act, Robert wheedles Christopher into charging Bruce with racism, which is utterly unfounded, in hopes of getting the younger man disbarred and fired.’
      • ‘If no one was coming to his assistance, did that mean they were giving her a chance to wheedle him into letting her show him her stuff?’
      • ‘Because I don't have any and I'm ready to hit you and steal yours if I can't wheedle you into paying for me to come.’
      • ‘What he wants in bed is humiliation, naturally, and when he finally wheedles Geli into dishing out the big abuse, we're shocked at ourselves for expecting nothing else and settling for nothing less.’
      • ‘II.3 has Iago left alone after Cassio's departure, after he has wheedled him into drinking a stoup of wine.’
      • ‘He eventually wheedled me into helping him after a week of whining.’
      • ‘Yeah, I got a recipe. It's call the boyfriend and try to wheedle him into bringing over some take-out Chinese.’
      • ‘Oh, well, honesty compels me to admit that I've been instructed to wheedle you into letting Adam come along.’
      • ‘Michael had hung up the phone, with her shouts still ringing in his ears, but he couldn't help smiling, arrogantly pleased that he had managed to wheedle her into meeting him for brunch later.’
    2. 1.2wheedle something out ofwith object Coax or persuade (someone) to say or give something.
      • ‘The corner of his mouth turned down at this thought, but he knew there was no way to wheedle it out of Herman, who could be very stubborn at times like these.’
      • ‘That means that some networks might be forced to strike a Faustian bargain: wheedle a fee increase out of operators now, but submit when the operator in turn demands to lock in that rate for several years.’
      • ‘At the centre, built with US funds, where he wheedled a kiss out of a two-year-old girl named Valentina.’
      • ‘Hayley had wanted to see him off, but he'd managed to avoid giving her an exact answer, unless she'd managed to wheedle it out of his mother, which was a frightening thought.’
      • ‘As one reader who did manage to wheedle an answer out of me on the subject concurred with my original notion that the not-knowing was preferable to the knowing, I shall refrain from adding to your store of knowledge.’
      • ‘Politicians are so expert at wheedling their way out of an answer.’
      • ‘I'm just getting tired of people trying to wheedle your identity out of me.’
      • ‘I wheedled my way out of Eric's grasp, laughing when he tried to hold on.’
      • ‘Evo shrugged, obviously not of the disposition to wheedle it out of me if I didn't want to tell him.’
      • ‘She had tried to wheedle her mom out of making her go but it hadn't worked so far.’
      • ‘Then let the nuclear industry buy its insurance on the open market like the rest of us instead of wheedling it out of the government like a bunch of Soviet-era factory directors.’
      • ‘This is another good reason to wheedle our way out of the marriage.’
      • ‘They were obviously concerned about the way I'd been acting and they would wheedle the truth out of me.’
      • ‘In an attempt to wheedle personal revelations out of this guarded individual, the programme-makers confronted Brown with a hard-hitting interviewer.’
      • ‘A week before Derry played Cavan in the Ulster championship Eamonn Coleman called to Cassidy and wheedled a commitment out of him for the summer.’
      • ‘After priestly efforts to wheedle a confession out of him proved unavailing, he was strangled and his body burned.’
      • ‘And don't try to wheedle it out of me, or read my mind.’
      • ‘He seems to be able to wheedle rides out of just about anybody.’
      • ‘He had managed to wheedle the address out of the class monitor, but she had given him a disgusted look for some reason.’
      • ‘Earlier this week, Andy Duncan, the chief executive, accused him of wheedling his way out of commitments to regulate the company's advertising rates’

Origin

Mid 17th century: perhaps from German wedeln ‘cringe, fawn’, from Wedel ‘tail, fan’.

Pronunciation

wheedle

/ˈ(h)wēdl//ˈ(h)widl/