Definition of wheedle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wēdl/


[no object]
1Employ endearments or flattery to persuade someone to do something or give one something: you can contrive to wheedle your way onto a court [with direct speech]: “Please, for my sake,” he wheedled
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • With the new cameras will come no mercy, no human face to wheedle, cajole, or insult.
coax, cajole, inveigle, induce, entice, charm, tempt, beguile, blandish, flatter, persuade, influence, win someone over, bring someone around, convince, prevail on, get around
informal sweet-talk, soft-soap
1.1 [with object] (wheedle someone into doing something) Coax or persuade someone to do something.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Somewhere along the line she'd realized that she seemed to have a talent for wheedling them into doing what she most desired.
1.2 [with object] (wheedle something out of) Coax or persuade (someone) to say or give something.
Example sentences
  • He seems to be able to wheedle rides out of just about anybody.
  • 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.
  • 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.



Example sentences
  • Its characters are all louche brutes, cozeners and wheedlers - all save the heroine, Bradshaw.
  • No self-respecting wheedler would try and talk one into eating the whole thing - it would be gauche.
  • These last few weeks, when the wheedlers hadn't yet taken over my classes, I was a little worried.


Pronunciation: /ˈ(h)wēd(ə)liNGlē/
Example sentences
  • Shame he seems to have to rely on wheedlingly bland ballads to keep him on the radio though.
  • Different attendants had different styles, though; an older woman had a wheedlingly generous maternal manner and she spoke to us loudly and indulgently as if we were spoiled kids.
  • Now and again men came, strangers, who talked excitedly, wheedlingly, and in all kinds of fashions to the man in the red sweater.


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

Words that rhyme with wheedle

beadle, bipedal, credal, needle

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: whee·dle

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