Definition of wheedle
- wheedle one's way into favor
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He wheedled quite a bit of money from her.
She pleaded and wheedled, but I wouldn't be swayed.
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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.
First Known Use: circa 1661See Words from the same year
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