Definition of winkle in English:

winkle

Syllabification: win·kle
Pronunciation: /ˈwiNGkəl
 
/

noun

  • A small herbivorous shore-dwelling mollusk with a spiral shell. Also called periwinkle2.
    • Family Littorinidae, class Gastropoda: many genera and species, including the common and edible Littorina littorea
    More example sentences
    • Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, cockles, winkles, whelks and crabs were collected for food from the estuaries and sea-shores.
    • The sand was dotted with saucer - sized jellyfish, rocks and pools are squidgy with jelly buttons encrusted with limpets, barnacles and winkles and are seedbeds for mussels.
    • Although there are many winkles on Breydon, I have never seen the oystercatcher take them.

verb

[with object] (winkle something out) chiefly British Back to top  
  • Extract or obtain something with difficulty: I swore I wasn’t going to tell her, but she winkled it all out of me
    More example sentences
    • He realises the paramount importance of getting all the facts into the public domain before the press winkle them out.
    • If necessary, they'll read between the lines to winkle it out.
    • Julio went quiet in the elevator and I finally winkled it out of him - he's wondering how long we've got provisions for.

Derivatives

winkler

Pronunciation: /ˈwiNGk(ə)lər/
noun
More example sentences
  • Members of the Chippenham Winkle Club known as winklers donned their Christmas outfits for the giveaway along the Kennet and Avon canal.

Origin

late 16th century: shortening of periwinkle2.

More definitions of winkle

Definition of winkle in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
noun
used to address an English nobleman