Definition of winkle in English:

winkle

Line breaks: win¦kle
Pronunciation: /ˈwɪŋk(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • 1A small herbivorous shore-dwelling mollusc 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.
  • 2 informal A child’s term for a penis.
    More example sentences
    • So you see, when I dozed off in my garden chair in the middle of a fascinating discussion with my son about which animals have winkles and which don't, I was in very good company.
    • One of my favourite snapshots of my son shows him running around, winkle to the wind, naked as the day he was born.

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.
    Synonyms
    worm out, prise out, dig out, extract with difficulty, draw outforce out, dislodge, displace, remove, evict, uproot

Derivatives

winkler

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.

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used to address an English nobleman