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winkle

Syllabification: win·kle
Pronunciation: /ˈwiNGk(ə)l
 
/

Definition of winkle in English:

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
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.

Origin

late 16th century: shortening of periwinkle2.

Derivatives

winkler

1
Pronunciation: /ˈwiNGk(ə)lər/
noun
Example sentences
  • Members of the Chippenham Winkle Club known as winklers donned their Christmas outfits for the giveaway along the Kennet and Avon canal.

Words that rhyme with winkle

besprinkle, crinkle, sprinkle, tinkle, twinkle, wrinkle

Definition of winkle in:

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Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing