Word of The Day for Sunday, May 1, 2011


whee•dle (HWEED-l, WEED-l)  v

1. to endeavor to influence (a person) by smooth, flattering, or beguiling words or acts
2. to persuade (a person) by such words or acts
3. to obtain (something) by artful persuasions
wheedled past participle; wheedled past tense; wheedling present participle; wheedles 3rd person singular present

1661, origin uncertain, perhaps connected with O.E. wædlian "to beg" (from wædl "poverty"), or borrowed by Eng. soldiers in the 17c. German wars from Ger. wedeln "wag the tail," hence "fawn, flatter"

Synonyms: blandish, cajole, charm, coax, con, entice, finagle, flatter, inveigle, persuade, worm

Sentence Examples:
• The larger Tidger children took the solids of their breakfast up and down the stone-flagged court outside, coming in occasionally to gulp draughts of very weak tea from a gallipot or two which stood on the table, and to wheedle Mr. Tidger out of any small piece of bloater which he felt generous enough to bestow. - A Golden Venture, W.W. Jacobs

• But I speak for myself only when I say that I would gladly wheedle old, gray-bearded Tempus into making the wheels click backward till I could see again the buffalo-herds darkening the green of Northwestern prairies.  - Raw Gold, Bertrand W. Sinclair

• The strength of the proletarian party was on the streets; that of the small traders' class was in the National Assembly itself. The point was, accordingly, to wheedle them out of the National Assembly into the street, and to have them break their parliamentary power themselves, before time and opportunity could consolidate them. - The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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