verb1 : to influence or entice by soft words or flattery 2 : to gain or get by coaxing or flattering 3 : to use soft words or flattery
Suzie wheedled the babysitter into letting her stay up an hour past her bedtime.
“I still make fruitcake, using a recipe that is mostly fruit and nuts and not much cake. My dad owned a locker plant and butcher shop, and wheedled the recipe out of a customer in the 1950s.” — Joan Daniels, Kansas City Star, August 12, 2014
Did you know?
Wheedle has been a part of the English lexicon since the mid-17th century, though no one is quite sure how the word made its way into English. (It has been suggested that the term may have derived from an Old English word that meant “to beg,” but this is far from certain.) Once established in the language, however, wheedle became a favorite of some of the language’s most illustrious writers. Wheedle and related forms appear in the writings of Wordsworth, Dickens, Kipling, Dryden, Swift, Scott, Tennyson, and Pope, among others.